Sunday, February 19, 2012

And the people did not answer him a word.

1 Kings 18:7

And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him, but if Baal then follow him”.  And the people did not answer him a word.

At the end of the day, it is this simple choice that defines your life.  Either the Lord is God, or something else in your life is going to be.  We are made for this choice.  We are made for this decision.  We spend so much time philosophing, mystifying, ignoring, or weighing this decision.   For most of us, we rarely ever think we answer it.  We stand just like the people of Baal, at the alter waiting to see the next piece of evidence that will be brought into the courtroom in order to make an “educated, calculated” decision.  The shocking thing to most of us is the realization that we are not the Lord’s jury.  We have not been created to sit as his jury, waiting to decide His sentence of “True God” or “Not the True God”.  Our decision changes nothing in God, but changes everything in us.  God is not dependent upon our decision, our beliefs, our judgment, but we on the contrary are completely dependent upon His.   
            I recently read, Crazy Love, by Francis Chan.  Chan pointed out that I am not the main character of this life that I live.  In the beginning of time when the world was being created, my name was never mentioned.  When the floodwater spread over the earth and then receded, my name was not in ink.  When WWI and WWII were brutally played out across the world, my name did not exist.  At the end of time when the battle is over, I will not be sitting on any thrones.  I am not the main character in this story.  I am an extra.  As Chan points out, I could choose to rent out an entire theater and invite all of my friends to come watch my 10 seconds of fame on the big screen (and they would think I was crazy), but not even my mom would really care for long.  Our lives are split seconds in the big movie.  But in our American culture, which teaches us that ME is the most important, this concept is not only hard but seems almost ridiculous.  Isn’t this life about my happiness, my feelings, my wants, dreams, and goals?  I have one life to live, and it’s all about ME.  Right? Wrong.
            This life is simply about your choice.  If the Lord is God, follow him, but if Baal then follow him. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Why? Why we decided to adopt.

Why?  Why have you choosen to adopt?

This is a common question we run into these days.  It was even a question on the multiple pages of paperwork we filled out at the beginning of the adoption.  It’s a question I found hard to answer at first.  How do I write this out with words.  How do I take this calling that pulls me forward, guides my steps and weighs me down all at the same time?  So, I wrote something that sounded good and was really close to the big picture for our paperwork, but it wasn’t the complete reason.  Now that I am writing this, I realize that I may never be able to put into words the complete reason.  But I am going to try, because a lot of people have been asking.

When I read James 1:27 in High School I read it literally and I still do.  We are called to take care of the orphans, the widows and live a life unstained by this world.  This is pure religion.  This is what it is really about.  This is what we ALL have been called to do, it just looks different in each persons journey.  I knew that meant adoption for me. 

So when the time finally came for us to sign on the dotted line, to commit to this calling, to go all in, to send a lot of money, to walk in obedience, I had one thing that played in my mind like watching a movie.  A memory of sitting in the car with my little sister, Stephanie.  We were talking about fulfilling our calling, knowing the ways of the Lord and all of that good stuff.  We had come to the end of the conversation and Stephanie slowly told me, “I just cant stand before the Lord and think that I could have saved one more…..and I didn’t because I wanted “stuff”.  She was referring to a scene in Schindler’s List, the movie produced by Steven Speilburg about the Holocaust and one man willing to help the jews.  The scene is at the end of the movie.  Schindler is standing in the warehouse, about to run from the American soldiers, and starring at the faces of the men and women that he saved during the war, talking to Stern, his jewish assistant.

Oskar Schindler: I could have got more out. I could have got more. I don't know. If I'd just... I could have got more.
Itzhak Stern: Oskar, there are eleven hundred people who are alive because of you. Look at them.
Oskar Schindler: If I'd made more money... I threw away so much money. You have no idea. If I'd just...
Itzhak Stern: There will be generations because of what you did.
Oskar Schindler: I didn't do enough!
Itzhak Stern: You did so much.
[Schindler looks at his car]
Oskar Schindler: This car. Goeth would have bought this car. Why did I keep the car? Ten people right there. Ten people. Ten more people.
[removing Nazi pin from lapel]
Oskar Schindler: This pin. Two people. This is gold. Two more people. He would have given me two for it, at least one. One more person. A person, Stern. For this.
Oskar Schindler: I could have gotten one more person... and I didn't! And I... I didn't!

My little sister quoted this scene to me in the car that day and it has been forever in my heart.  I cannot stand before Him at the end of this life and tell Him I wish I had more money, more cars, more stuff.   I don’t want to stare into His greatness and realize how much more……how much more I could have done with what I was given.  I know that this will happen, but I can do all that I can to be obedient to Him now. 

That is the answer.  This scene is my answer.  I have been given so much, so much love, so much family, so much truth and I cannot stand in front of Him and tell Him that it was not enough to share, not enough to go through the hard of adopting a child, not enough to love a child that is not from my womb, not enough money to pay for this adoption, not enough trust to walk in this.  I will not do that to my Lord.  He has called us to walk in this, and that is enough.  All of the other questions and concerns that well-meaning, loving people have for us do not even come close to quenching this desire.  Because its not mine, its His and that is simply…enough. 

James 1:27
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.