Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Humility v. Evasion

We have been thinking about adoption for quite some time now.  By "we", I mean, of course, my wife.  I have been thinking about adoption for probably about a month.  It was (and is) breathtakingly scary.  But one morning I had gotten up to write, started the coffee, and sat down with my Bible, and opened to the Psalms.  I read backwards, starting randomly from 29 or 30, and I got to 27 after a bit.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall.
Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.
One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.
For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.
And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.
Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me!
You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.”
Hide not your face from me.
Turn not your servant away in anger, O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation!
For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in.
Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies.
Give me not up to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and they breathe out violence.
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! - Ps. 27 (ESV)

And I was left thinking "well, what else could we do but adopt?"  God has opened His temple-city and welcomed me as His son in Christ.  Can I afford to be stingy with our two-bedroom condo?  He has set His love on me (a Gentile!) for no reason but His good pleasure.  Do I dare to reserve my love for my own biological children?

But pride is a wily foe.  Oh, no, I'm probably not good enough to be a good father to adopted special needs children.  No, it wouldn't be healthy for our family/church/work responsibilities to add that strain; they're important, too!  No, no, being a PhD student means I'm just not qualified.  Those people on the internet who adopt kids, they're the real heroes!  Much safer to admire them from a distance.

But it didn't work for Moses, and it didn't for me, either.  "Lord, I can't speak!" (says the man who is going round and round in argument with God the Creator-Lord).  You don't see Caleb and Joshua saying "It really is a big fancy land, and really, manna, quail, and this wilderness are quite good enough for the likes of us."  We don't see Jesus deferring His role as Savior because it would be, well, ostentatious to presume to be the one to crush Satan's head.  And we don't see a single apostle shrink back from the plain charge to take the world with the gospel.

No, the humble response to God's command, small or large, is "Here I am...speak Lord, for your servant hears...Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word".  Ducking a call because you feel inadequate is utterly missing the point: YOU ARE INADEQUATE!  But God is sufficient for all things: "Give what you command, and command what you will" says Augustine.

"But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”" - 2 Cor. 12:9

So we will see where this all goes, but wherever God leads us, we want to go.  "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." Rom 8:28


1 comment:

  1. Beautifully said. We are inadequate and too many times I use that as an excuse instead of a lifelong fact. I am so thrilled for you both and look forward to reading this blog.

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