Sunday, January 29, 2012

Daily Grace

Today I saw a video discussing the Jordan River in Israel. It was one of the fastest rivers in the world before it was dammed in modern times to provide water for the population. At the time of Moses and the wandering of the Israelites in the desert for 40 years, it would have been a formidable barrier to entering the Promised Land. But that's where God called his people to go.

God's people crossed the Jordan River on dry land, but they didn't get a clear path across the Jordan until AFTER they stepped into the over-your-head-deep rushing waters. The waters didn't part until the priests' toes touched the water. They had to exhibit 100% faith first. They had to trust God with everything they were. They had to obey God and take that scary leap into the chaos.

Life is like that every day. The adoption of our youngest child was very much a leap-into-the-Jordan action. My husband and I had only been married for just over a year; we were enjoying life together. All of our children were on their own, and we had several grandchildren. One day we received a phone call from a social worker saying that one of them was in need of a foster home, and possibly of a permanent adoptive home. We were shocked to realize that this child was in this situation; we had no idea! And we (well, actually I) were surprised to think of becoming any kind of parents again! I was quite happy with our empty nest.

My husband listened to my concerns, and then pointed out that we needed to pray before we made any decision. We also asked a few close friends to pray for clarity in this. I could think of a bazillion reasons why this was a bad idea... but I prayed earnestly for God to change my heart if it was what He wanted.

Just like those Israelites facing the raging Jordan River, I was afraid. I had raised this child's birthfather, and it was NOT an easy task.  I didn't want to repeat that part of my life. I was tired after a day of teaching; I wouldn't have enough energy for a two-year-old.  I LIKED my life; it was quiet and simple (and quite self-centered, I began to realize as I prayed). But God told the Israelites to GO. And God was clearly calling us to say YES. So I jumped.

And just like God astounded the Israelites by providing dry ground for them to cross the Jordan, God provided energy, strength, understanding, and reassurance for us as we took in our grandchild, first as a foster child, then as an adopted child. And exactly like the Promised Land's milk-and-honey, our "new" family was exactly right. I can't imagine NOT parenting this beloved child.

Sometimes people say, "Oh, what a good thing you are doing by adopting your grandchild!" To which I say, "Oh, no. That's not it at all! What a good thing GOD is doing in us and for us and with us in creating this family. It's an amazing blessing in every, single way."

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