But there is something else that is interesting about Abraham. He did not do anything revolutionary. He just trusted God. He believed that God was able and that His plan was best.
This shockingly simple truth was brought to my attention by my husband, who discussed this very notion with a friend on New Year's Eve.
So often I feel like I am dropping the ball with this life God has handed us. I feel like I should be able to be happy in the midst of these trials, be able to accomplish great things for God as a result of what we are going through, do more "spiritual things" as we wait. And most of the time, honestly, I just can't. Most days, it is all I can do to hang on. We are at the point in this process where every single thing is out of our hands, and we just have to hold on to the truth that God is in control of this and that He knows what He is doing.
That is where Abraham comes in.
He and Sarah wanted a child so desperately, and I am all too familiar with that sentiment. He knew God was real and able to do all things, but there was this hole in his heart that longed to be filled with the role of parenthood. I imagine him and Sarah trying to comfort each other through years, decades, of waiting. And I can easily imagine some of the conversations they must have had. We have had them in our home, too. I can imagine Abraham's prayer life. Calling out to God, asking for this blessing that seemed to come so easily to others. I can relate.
And then God comes on the scene. He waits until Abraham is 100 and Sarah is 90. He tells Abraham that He will be the father of many nations, a manly richly blessed.
What does Abraham have to do?
"I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”
All Abraham has to do is walk before God faithfully and be blameless. Let me tell you what I think that means.
Walking before God faithfully. For me, this means trusting God. Even when it doesn't look like you should. When we look back throughout the course of Biblical history, it is easy to see that our God has a knack for not doing things the way we humans would do them. The clearest example of this is the Cross. It makes ZERO logical sense for God to send His own Son from heaven to earth in order to be a sacrifice for sinful man, especially when you consider the fact that God knew most men would reject that very sacrifice. The greatest picture of God's grace and mercy is also one of the most counter-intuitive choices we see in the Bible. But look at the outcome of that choice. We now have, for all eternity, the ability to be in direct communion and conversation with the Creator of the universe. For God, the outcome was worth the pain of His choice. And it was for Jesus, too. We see Him in the garden of Gethsemane, and He is asking His Father to "let this cup pass" from Him. He did not relish the idea of going to the cross, but He did so willingly because He knew what the outcome would be, what the end result would lead to. And for Him, it was worth it. He just had to stay faithful.
And that, I believe, is what God is asking of me, of us. He wants us to stay faithful to Him, to believe that He is good and in control even when it does not seem like it. And right now, I will tell you, it doesn't seem like it. I look around at our life and where we are in this process, and I want to shake my fists at the sky and scream, "What are you DOING?" When you sign on for the adoption process, everyone warns you about how hard it will be. And for a while, I felt like I was really prepared for the difficulties that accompanied our journey. But that has changed. This process has been so much harder than I ever imagined it could be. I did not know that my heart has the capacity to feel this much, that my soul has the ability to be this weary, that every part of me can long so desperately for something. I fully and openly admit that I was not prepared. And it is rocking my world and my faith. I have found myself questioning everything I have ever believed, asking myself, "Do I really believe that God is still in this?" My answer is yes. Some days it is a strong and powerful YES. Other days it is a shaking whisper of yes. But the answer does not change. I am trying to stay faithful.
The second part of Abraham's side of the covenant is to be blameless. This I cannot do. But I am cover by the grace and mercy of God through the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ. And by His glorious sacrifice alone, when God looks at me, He sees the purity of Jesus. It is nothing I have done or could ever do. He has paid it all. I have been bought back from sin through the blood of Christ. And so, in Him alone, I am blameless. Now, I don't mean I that I have stopped sinning. Clearly that is not the case. But my sins have been forgiven, and I am free.
And so, like Abraham, I am not doing anything extraordinary. At this point, I completely lack the ability to be extraordinary. I am just trying to cling to God and pray that He keeps me standing.
So if you are going through something that seems impossible to you, it is my hope that you know this Jesus who loves you so much. He loves you enough to have willingly given up His own life for yours. Let the depth of that truth permeate your heart, mind and soul. He is with you now, right in the midst of your impossible circumstance.
I would continue to ask for your prayers over our children, this process and over us. It seems like there is no end in sight. And we already love these children so much, more that I ever though possible. We just want them home. Please pray for their health and safety while we wait for them. Please pray for the governing bodies over international adoption. And please pray that we continue to seek God first while we wait and that our family would be united in 2014.