“Would I believe you when you would say
Your hand will guide my every way
Will I receive the words You say
Every moment of every day”

 

There’s a song by Jeremy Camp called Walk By Faith that’s been playing in my head a lot lately.  Although the experience behind his writing of the song is very different than anything I’ve experienced (he had just lost his young bride after only a few months of being married), the words, the emotions and the meaning can apply to so much in our lives.  The basic theme of the song is whether or not we’re going to trust God, to go forward in faith even when we aren’t sure how we’re going to do something.  Are we going to follow God’s leading in our lives, understanding that His ways are not our ways, and that His plans are to bless us, even when we don’t see how?  Are we going to trust that His reasons for taking us through sometimes difficult times are actually for our benefit, that He’s preparing us for so much more than we can currently see or understand?

It can be very hard to step out in faith, especially when we don’t know why we are doing something, or how we are to accomplish it.  All we know is that we feel compelled or called or driven to do it.  We might feel that God is calling us to do something, but when we look at it in the natural, it seems like it’s not possible, or, if it is possible, it appears overly daunting and difficult.  It’s then that the doubt creeps in, and we start to question whether we “heard” God correctly, or if it was His nudging to begin with.  As you go over it in your mind, and pray about it, and check the Scriptures, the picture can clear up, especially if you can see that you would be following His command.

“Help me to win my endless fears 
You’ve been so faithful for all my years 
With one breath You make me new 
Your grace covers all I do”

This was (and continues to be) my experience when it came to the decision to adopt internationally (to adopt at all, really).  When the subject was first broached, I wanted nothing to do with it.  My life was already too hard, I already had 9 children, and I was certain that God was not and would not ask me to go halfway around the world to take on even more responsibilities. Besides, it’s too expensive to adopt internationally, and, being the lone money earner in the family, there was no way we could come up with the $25,000 – $35,000 needed to adopt an orphan from China (or anywhere else, for that matter).  A funny thing happened along the way, though.  I started to wonder if we, or I more specifically, could actually do it.  My wife and daughter shared with me this verse from James 1:27 – Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.  Wow.  That’s pretty straight forward, if you ask me.  What finally pushed me over the edge was when they came to me with a picture of a 13 year old girl who desperately wanted a family before she aged out of the system on her next birthday.  Why did she have to wait this long?  Why did she have to live in an orphanage all those years, without a mother and father, and watch as other children were adopted and left with their forever families?  Why did she have to wonder why no one wanted her?  I guess the answer to all of these questions is that she was waiting for us.  Waiting for me to stop and listen to that still, small voice that asked me to stop thinking of myself, to stop making excuses, and to trust the One who never fails us.

So we took the plunge and decided that we would stop living timid lives and that we would obey God’s command to care for the orphans.  Does it take a leap of faith?  Yes.  Is it scary?  Yes.  Do all of our friends and family support us?  No.  Do we really have all of the financial resources to cover this adoption right now?  No.  We have decided to act on God’s calling anyway, “praying in the funds” as we go.  And when God finally does place this precious child (or children) in our family, all the glory will go to Him for making a way where there did not appear to be one.  In the natural, it seems difficult, and perhaps not even possible, but God is not bound by our limitations and our lack of vision.  If we are loving His children, and allowing Him to place the lonely in our family, then surely He will bless our efforts.

“Well I will walk by faith 
Even when I cannot see”

We can’t worry about what the world thinks.  It doesn’t matter if people think we’re crazy for doing this.  It doesn’t matter if people are angry that we’re doing this.  What matters is God.  It can’t just be about us anymore.  It’s got to be about so much more.

– Mark