My sister held a yard sale for us this weekend - while eight months pregnant. I marveled once again, while spending time with her, how different we are. She is easy going, calm, go-with-the-flow. Whenever I am with her I wish that I could be more like her. It's always fun to be with her and her family. We all adore her daughter, Kaylen.
We made another $150 to add to our adoption fund. We are closing in on what we need to start our home study. That is so exciting! We will just keep praying and saving until we get all of the money.
Yesterday morning, while we were at my sister's, we learned that the lead pastor for our church was ill, and that Jim would be preaching on short notice. Because Jim did not have much time to prepare, he decided it would be best to preach on something God has been teaching us. Jim and I have both been listening to the sermon series Radical:what the gospel demands by David Platt. We have been so convicted. So Jim will share with our congregation what God is laying on his heart from Luke 14.
I am home with a sick boy. Scotty came down with a fever this weekend, and once we arrived home was covered in a rash. The rash is so strange - really red - really fine and not raised. My boy's health issues are always in the back of mind. I constantly worry that the doctor's have missed something. He still seems so small, has stomach issues, and just some other things that don't add up. His health is something that I have to give over to God so very often. He is ultimately in God's care.
Back to Jim's sermon. We talked through a lot of it on the drive home from my sister's yesterday. In talking through things my mind raced with questions. My questions need an outlet, so here they are. (If you are not familiar with Luke 14, I really suggest reading it. However, some of my questions come out of our adoption experience as well.)
What does it truly mean to be a disciple of Christ?
Is being a disciple the same thing as being a Christian?
What does it mean to give up everything?
Doesn't the Bible say that this world is not our home, and that we are essentially aliens? So why then do we try so hard to be comfortable here? These questions have been on my heart for awhile. It seems as if we will take risks for God to a certain point, and we will allow ourselves to experience discomfort for awhile, but it is still all in our "control", and we quickly scramble back to a place where we can settle in and get comfortable again.
Why do we try to soften the gospel and living for Christ - why do we constantly water it down? Doesn't the Bible say that we will endure hardships?
Jesus says that through the cross of Christ we die to the life we live. If we are a true Christian according to Scripture we are dead - to ourself, our plans, our dreams, our ideas. (Gal.2:20) We are dead to self-saturated desires, to self-comforting life,to self-esteem thinking, to self-centered planning for our life - we are alive to Christ-esteem thinking, Christ-centered thinking, planning. Our entire identity should be wrapped up in who He is. So why isn't it?? Why doesn't the life of Christ determine everything about us?? Where we live? What kind of house we have? The clothes we wear? The things we buy? The plans we make?
I don't have the answers. I don't know how to do it yet. But I am learning. I am learning what it might mean to give up everything. This adoption process has been a huge part of it. God is using this to open our eyes to what it truly means to be a disciple of Christ. Please do not misunderstand me. This is not bragging. We don't have it all together. This adoption process has been a lonely road at times. We are constantly told that while this may be right for us, not everybody has to live this way, not everybody was called to adopt from Ethiopia. And Nope - they are correct, not everybody was called to this ministry. But as a church, as a follower of Christ, we are ALL called to care for orphans, to care for widows, to care for the poor. This may rub you the wrong way, but I see little of this mandate being followed out. I will be the first to admit, that Jim and I have completely ignored it until now, too. There should be no need for life insurance if our church is following its mandate, no need for government care programs, no need for orphanages, but there is a need because the church is not doing its job.
The church has become saturated in the American dream and we have Americanized the gospel. I am finally recognizing that for the first time in my life, and I am appalled. I am disgusted. I wonder what my God thinks?
So maybe your family is not being called to adopt (but maybe your family is, have you ever asked yourself why not adopt, rather than why should we?? Have you ever truly prayed about it?), but what if God is calling your family to support that young widowed woman in your church with the small children? What if that means sacrificing some of your comfort? What if God is asking you to give away part of your paycheck to help feed starving children in your community? What if God is asking you to sell everything and move to a third world country to spread the good news and care for the least of these?
God is still working on our family. We are not at the end of our journey. This adoption is not it for us. If you read the Scripture caring for orphans and widows and helping the poor is to be a continuous action. I don't know what that means for our family.
I am sick of being comfortable in my cushy home. This world is not my home, and I am done pretending that it is. I am an alien here, so it will be uncomfortable. I am ready and willing to have my heart broken for what God's heart is broken for.
I want to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ.
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