Monday, February 4, 2013

The Circle Maker Part 6: A Vision Beyond Your Resources (Chapter 6)

So I have been a book study slacker. Not to offer up excuses, but I have been doing a LOT of reading in my life lately and it sometimes gets hard to keep up. But I am back in business today with chapter six of The Circle Maker. And let me just say that only God can work beautiful timing within the context of my procrastination/forgetfulness. I say that because this chapter of The Circle Maker fits beautifully with the door that the Lord seems to be opening in our lives right now. More on that in a minute.

The primary focus of chapter 6 is how God works miracles in our lives when we have a vision beyond our resources. When we have a God-centered dream that far exceeds our human capabilities, God shows up and we get the miracle while He gets the glory.

"Having a vision beyond your resources is synonymous with dreaming big And it may feel like you are setting yourself up for failure, but you're actually setting God up for a miracle."

I think a lot of times we have these God-sized dreams and we talk ourselves out of them because we can't see how we could ever possibly make the dream a reality. We laser-focus in on our abilities, and when we don't stack up, we forfeit the dream. What we should really be doing is going to God and saying, "You have laid this on my heart and I want it. I want it, but I cannot do it. I need You to do it. You are the only One who can. So I am going to pray until You move, because I believe that you gave me this dream for a reason." I think we might spend a whole lot more time with our jaws hanging open in shock if we prayed and lived like that.

But we have to have the patience to pray like that more than once. More than twice. We have to adopt an attitude of prayer and belief in our lives that demonstrates our commitment to believing God's ability to perform true miracles. We cannot lose patience or endurance and try to force God's hand. Batterson speaks to this.

"When God doesn't answer our prayer right away, we try to answer it for Him. Like the day Moses took matters into his own hands and killed an Egyptian taskmaster, we get ahead of God. But when we try to do God's job for Him, it always backfires." 

We have to be willing to trust in God's ability for the long haul. Not just for a day or a week or even a month. Sometimes God takes years. I am often reminded of this as we sit in the middle of our adoption waiting. This is not a short process, yet there are times when I grow weary of praying. I feel like I have said it all a thousand times. I have cried and begged, but I am still waiting. I have pleaded with God on behalf of our children, but I do not know if the Lord will answer me in the way I want Him to. I don't know if I my desires align with His time table. But I do know that He has brought us here, and that is not without reason. He laid Ethiopia on our hearts. He has this May 2013 referral idea stuck in my head. Is that His plan? No idea. But it is what I am praying for until either it or something else happens. And that takes a boldness that I do not inherently find within myself. This idea of drawing a circle in the sand and telling God that I am not moving until He does because I believe He is able to do anything and everything. I am not naturally that courageous. But He is teaching me. He is teaching me that boldness also comes from being willing to not know everything. A very difficult notion for a teacher, who, by definition, is the one with the answers. God is revealing to me that it takes a whole lot more faith and courage to step out when you do not already know the answer.

"Are you willing to be perplexed? Are you open to holy surprise? Do you have the courage for God to move in unpredictable and uncontrollable ways?" 

Can I? Can you? Can we let go of our lives in order to give them back to the One who gave us life? Can we let go of our pictures of the perfect life? I''ll tell you right now that the life Adam and I are living is a FAR cry from what we thought we would be doing by now. But it is better than what we planned on doing.

And God is moving our hearts again. When we started this process, we were approved to bring home one child, birth-2 years old. Well, the Lord is stirring us and we have contacted our agency to let them know that we feel like we need to expand our parameters to be open to a sibling group. Yikes! We are nervous, but oh so excited! There is, of course, more paperwork to do, but we can work on that while we are already waiting. This does not mean that we will necessarily end up with a sibling group, but it opens to door of possibility. Talk about a vision beyond our resources. If this is what the Lord ultimately has for us, then this is way beyond what Adam and I are naturally capable of doing. It is going to take some super serious spiritual intervention by the Almighty, but we are so anxious to see that happen. So we are praying. A lot. Because we might be going from a family of two to a family of four or five. How crazy is that? That is a God-sized dream.

"Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you." Jeremiah 32:17


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