We have begun the process of adopting a child from China.
My husband and I both knew that someday we'd probably adopt again but neither of us expected to do it internationally. Although I have always loved to read about families who have adopted this way, and have a few close friends and relatives who have done so, it always seemed too big. Too hard. Too expensive. Too scary....the list goes on. We also didn't expect to seek out a child with special needs that will force us to adapt and to be stretched in all areas of our life.
It turns out that God has been preparing our hearts and lives for this next step for a long time now, just as he has been preparing, protecting, and choosing a child for us.
The Spirit has been at work in both my husband (who was not at all eager, or even willing to adopt internationally a couple months ago) and in my fear filled heart to give us the boldness to make this commitment to let God grow our family. As scary as that "Let's do this" decision was, there have been few times in our lives that we've both been this sure of what we've been told. That quiet whisper that steals our sleep, that greets us as we wake, and that forces us to our knees several times a day. That calling that can only be answered by "Here I am Lord".
This morning I read through 1 Kings 17-19. These chapters talk about the life of the prophet Elijah. It comforted me, broke me a little, and even convicted my doubtful heart as I read. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
The same God that challenged the widow to give away her last handful of flour and last drops of oil, is challenging me to let go of my last bit of control, the last few dollars in our savings account, and trust him completely. Can I trust that my jar won't run dry? Am I willing to surrender regardless of whether it runs dry or not?
I am choosing to trust the same God who healed the widow's son, for no other purpose but to showcase his glory, the same God that fed Elijah by commanding the ravens to bring him his daily bread, the same God that rained down fire so all who witnessed it would exclaim. "The Lord - he is God!".
So here I am, praying as I pile stone upon stone. I'm digging a trench around this alter, arranging the pieces of wood, preparing the offering, and then soaking it all in water just to make it more impossible. I know that there are spectators who will shake their heads, mock our foolishness, or just plain assume we're crazy.
We are working, trusting, and gathering, knowing ultimately it will be only his power that accomplishes this.
It is impossible, for us, but the fire will fall. It will consume the water, the stones and every thing else that stands in it's way.
I am praying the words of Elijah this morning.
"'Oh God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so these people will now that you, Oh Lord are God, and that your are turning their hearts back again."
"Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench."
We will cry out "The Lord- he is God!". Only he could do this impossible thing. Only he will bring a child home to us.
What we have is not even close to enough for the task, but we know what we have in him is abundantly more than we need or deserve.
We set our sights on this mysterious and beautiful Country, and a little child who waits there.