Monday, November 9, 2015

What Next? Where Next? What's Up?

Not that long ago, I prayed a prayer where part of what I asked God to do was:

Pour Your passion for the poor, your compassion for the children, and your love for the lost into my heart so that it beats as Yours does, Lord. May I be open to the outcasts and the oppressed.

After I prayed it, I wondered if I really wanted Him to answer that prayer. There is that anonymous quote that goes, "Be careful what you pray for because He just might give it to you."

I must admit, I thought, "I am terrified of you, Jesus, because I am afraid of what you are going to ask me to do now." (Am I the only one???)

I know all too well that we are called to a revolution of love and grace where we must dance and sing among the minefields of this world.  One of the things I have and continue to learn from following Jesus (and heard repeated again at the Together For Adoption Conference) is that "Risk is right." As Christians, we are called to significant risk and to go forward boldly in that.

We had done that when we went to Ukraine to adopt.

And we did that when we hosted a teenage girl from Ukraine this past summer.

But what would God call us to next?

Were we going to host again? If so, from where?

Adopt again? And if so, from where?

Or did He have some other plan for us?

Or were we to just wait for now until He led us to move.

I did not know and in that unknowing, I awaited with fear and trembling. The Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegard (author of a book entitled Fear and Trembling) wrote:

The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obligated to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined.  How would I would ever get on in the world? Here in lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church's prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Oh, priceless scholarship, what would we do without you? Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes, it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament.

Those words are not comforting, but they are all so very true. (But don't you just love it when someone whips out a Danish philosopher like that on a Monday morning?)

I was learning that God was not interested in me living a life of comfortable consumption.  I knew that I, and my family, were no longer going to pursue the "American dream" which the world can no longer afford. I should no longer seek out the company of the rich young ruler but abandon my desire for things and stuff to follow Christ.  But what was that following to look like now?

As I wondered and, admittedly, worried, I read Psalm 66:12 that said, " . . . we went through fire and water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance."  We did. We went through those trials with Cava, but I look at the abundance that our family is blessed with now (not monetarily or in terms of things) but in terms of how much closer our family is to each other and to God. 

Before Danelle and I left for the conference, we were in the kitchen and I just found myself asking, "Do you think we are supposed to become foster parents?" 

"I was just waiting for you to ask," she replied. Apparently she, too, had been praying for direction and, like me, had foster parent placed on her heart.  

We were thrilled to find out that our church will be having foster care training beginning in January. 

That is the answer to the question that I have been asked sooooo many times of, "So what now?"

We are finding that we are once more being called to step out of our comfort zone and to love those who need it most. We know that it won't be easy, we know how hard this could be, but that when we move as God has called us to, He is with us and that we can trust what Joshua 1:9 says, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

We continue to thank you for your support, your prayers, and your love.

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