The journey into the heart of God, the great Adopter, hasn't been what I expected it to be. After the initial flame of desire to adopt, I'm realizing that the journey is deeper and more intense than I anticipated. It's not time to go and pick up a baby, it's not even time to fill out paperwork, or raise money. The seed of desire has been planted and is being watered. But right now I'm in the season of preparation; learning the value of discipline, trust, practice. I'm training to run a marathon of obedience. The passion is mounting and the cost is being counted, and recounted.
I had assumed the burden was enough. When will I learn that God's ways are not my ways. When will I learn it's all about the heart and my Father is intent upon reshaping mine. Hot passion burning deep must be tempered with discipline and self-control, wisdom and understanding, submission. Jumping before looking, while very Beck like, isn't Christ like.
Part of the journey is learning to look at global and personal pain and not look away; not change the channel, so to speak. Instead I bow my heart low and say "thank you for mercy," and then pray for Mercy to reach out to the broken ones my heart chooses to see. The ones he want's me to see, because seeing is better than turning away. Turning away atrophies my heart muscle, which I'm finding has less stamina than I first thought.
I also find myself at a place of questions. Questions that need to be asked, ones that expand my heart, and open me to Jesus voice. Questions like, "What are my comfort and relative wealth for? What is God's intent in that blessing? Is it purely for my enjoyment?" or "When I go to my final home, who else will I have shown the way? Will a homeless child have learned about home from me?" or "Is hedging my bets sin, is saving for retirement or even a rainy day what God intended for my money when people are hungry right this minute?" or "What kind of sacrifices, and I use that term loosely, would God have me make to free up money for the broken and wasted of this world?" or "What is my role in speaking for those with no voice?" or "When I see pain, how will I choose to respond?"
My new prayer is; God convict my heart, show me where I harbor selfishness, give me a heart like yours. The reflection in the mirror isn't pretty. It's amazing what can be hidden under the veneer of spirituality. It's amazing how I can make myself feel better about my selfishness by measuring my life with the measuring stick of this world, instead of holding my life up to the full measure of Jesus Christ. No it isn't pretty at all.
But I'm hopeful. Hopeful because I know the vision, the dream, to offer love to an orphaned child with Down syndrome originated with God. So as discouragement at times sets in, I practice. I learn to live an ordered, holy, submitted life. I swallow the bitter pill of conviction that leads to humility and sweet grace. My family is in the preparation phase, which can't be hurried. So I practice prayer, devotion, a renewed mind, repentance, mourning, love. I practice having a Jesus heart. And one day the seed planted there will grow and bloom.
What passion or vision has God laid on your heart. Maybe right now it's only a whisper. What can you do to prepare to live in that reality?