Made for another world

"If I discover within myself a desire which no experience in the world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." C. S. Lewis

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

How Much is too Much?

I wrote this post in January 2012. Little did I know that in less than a year I would be traveling to Serbia to touch the children God was just beginning to burden my heart with. My ears were beginning to pick up the whispers of adoptive love God was speaking, I was stirring with anticipation, full of questions. How could I know that it wouldn't just be one child, but many that would capture my heart and motivate me to action. Last year I pondered adoption and loving the needy, this year a ministry to those children is being birthed. God's plan is more stunning than I could have imagined! In 2013 I can only imagine what God holds in store!

Me and a new friend, Dom Veternik, Serbia

Is the cost of adoption really worth it? Lets face it, perhaps more people would adopt if the path of adoption wasn't so grueling. The financial cost alone is enough of a deterrent. An international adoption can be as much as some family's income for the year, reaching twenty five, thirty, even forty thousand dollars. It takes my breath away.

But the cost must be counted far beyond the financial aspect. Traveling across the globe and spending, in some cases, weeks in a foreign country away from family can be intimidating. Far from a sight seeing trip, it's an emotional journey, a heart quest. The red tape must be sliced through, the stacks of paperwork completed, the process is an investment.

Then there are the questions that beg to be answered. What risks are involved? Will there be unseen medical costs when the child comes home? Will the family adjust well, how will the other children transition? How hard will it be to bond with a child that may not even speak our language? Will we involve birth parents and how will that work? The questions and what ifs could fill a book.

Why should we as believers invest in the cause of the orphan? What makes it worth it? Is the cost too great to expect us to become personally involved?

I must admit that in the past not only was I unable to consider rescuing an orphan internationally, I couldn't even look their situation full in the face. Just to identify their pain, to witness at times their sub-standard living conditions cost more than I was willing to pay. But that's beginning to change for me.

In the Old Testament God established laws that provided for the fatherless, widowed and foreigners. With the obedience of these laws came his blessing. In Psalms God describes himself as the helper and defender of the fatherless. He clearly asks his followers to provide care to the poor, helpless and needy of the world. (Ps. 68:5-6, Duet. 10:18, Duet. 24:17-18)

More than recognizing his expectation of action on my part, it's the recognition of action on his that has changed me. "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves." Ephesians 1:3-6

Do you hear the joy of those verses? It brings him pleasure to purchase us as his own. And it should make our hearts rejoice to recall what we once were and what we've now become, from enemies to sons.

But I'm always amazed to recognize the cost that was counted "before the creation of the world" for our adoption. It wasn't overseas travel, although Jesus did leave his glorious throne and humble himself to an earthly life. Financial resources weren't an issue in our adoption, oh no, it was life blood that bought our sonship. I doubt God asked questions like, will my adopted child adjust to my family, will they have residual expenses or discipline issues, will they get along with my other children, will they bond with me. He already knew the answer to those questions.

Is adoption worth the cost? Ask God, he knows, he can tell you from his own experience. As costly as adoption may be, I guarantee no adoption will cost us what it cost him. It's normal to be intimidated by such a huge undertaking and wise to evaluate the situation with prayer and trusted advisers. I myself, while at times overwhelmed, am excited to press in and understand my own adoption better. I'm eager to know the heart of my Father as he reflects his redeeming love through me. And I have no doubt that as his adopted children commit to adopt the broken and lonely of the world, he will provide the resources. After all he's already provided his own son how could he do any less.

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