Friday, May 4, 2012

The Wall Hugger

I am what you would call a “wall hugger,” in that I’m not someone who likes to move out of my comfort zone.  I tend to like my daily routine and don’t really want to stray from that or have anything upset it.  Back when I was in school, I was never the one to raise their hand to go first, but preferred to go somewhere in the middle.  Safe and comfortable are what I seek.  I would never have been an explorer or a pilgrim or a missionary.  So it came as a shock that God would lay it on my heart, as well as my wife’s, that we should not only adopt a child but do an international adoption.  Like Moses, I want to back out of God’s call and say, “Wouldn’t so and so be a better choice?”  But God is never interested in our idea of the “better” choice.  Unlike kids in gym class, God tends to pick those who we would prefer not to pick or pick last under duress.  I am one of those kids who stood there waiting and waiting and waiting to be picked on a team in P.E. Having a greater vision and a sense of humor, God picks the unlikely and the outcasts.  Don’t believe me?  Look at His choices all throughout scripture. 

My wife and I talked at great length about the decision to adopt.  Of course we immediately found all the obstacles (especially money) involved in not only adopting a child, but adopting one from another country.  But for every reason we could come up with to try and excuse ourselves from this call, God kept reminding us that He is greater.  Back when I used to drive the van for our church to pick up the elderly and those who couldn’t get to and from church on their own, I remember this one older man who, during our conversation, said, in regards to something he’d faced in his life, “Either you trust God or you don’t.” This has resonated with me for years and it will continue to do so. 

In his amazing book A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, Eugene H. Peterson (who did The Message translation of the Bible) wrote:

            The person of faith is described in this psalm (Psalm 125) as
             “a rock-solid mountain . . . nothing can move it.”  But I am moved.
             I am full of faith one day and empty with doubt the next.  I can be
            moved by nearly anything: sadness, joy, success, failure.  I’m a
            thermometer and go up and down with the weather.

            My feelings are important for many things.  They are essential
            and valuable.  They keep me aware of much that is true and real.
            But they tell me next to nothing about God or my relation to God.
            My security comes from who God is, not from how I feel.  “As the
            mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about
            his people.”  The image that announces the dependable, unchanging,
            safe, secure existence of God’s people comes from geology, not
            psychology (pages 86 & 87).

Wow!! Did those words hit me when I first read them and even now as I reread it in writing this entry for my blog.  Unlike me, God is unchanging and is not swayed by circumstances and emotions.  He wants me to be like Jesus, who could sleep in the boat while a storm raged about it.  I, however, tend to be more like the disciples who were terrified and ask the Lord, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”  One of the most repeated phrases by Jesus is, “Be not afraid.”  And in Mark 4:35 – 41, I see Jesus asking not only his disciples, but myself, with his question, “Why are you so fearful?  How is that you have no faith?”  As I sit in this boat with Jesus and the storm of finances, international travel, taking off those weeks form work to go overseas, and a whole host of other seen and unforeseen difficulties and circumstances arise, I have to remember that I follow a Savior who can rebuke all of it with only, “Peace, be still.”

So this means I have to trust Him and leave my wall.  I just have to remember that I’m not leaving my comfort zone alone. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Danelle and Elliott!
    It's your old (and I AM getting old) cousin Kris in College Station, TX. My Mom, your Aunt Lila, told me you're adopting internationally. I loved reading your blog entry about this exciting and faith-filled decision. God bless you guys!