I am reading a book right now called Crazy Love. The book itself is a bit crazy... or radical is probably a better word. I won't spoil it all for you, but I am going to ask you to go out and get it and read it along with me. It's riveting and I am going to need a whole host of folks to help me process because it's so beyond my comprehension level at some times, it's so much bigger than me, that I don't think I can shoulder it all by myself. So, get yourself a copy and let's talk about it. But beware, God is probably going to ask something big of you through it.
Today as I was reading I was struck, literally STRUCK as in a board to the head, by a few things that I was reading. I have read so many times and stood in awe so often of the verses in Psalm 139 where David tells us of God's great love for us and how we were created for Him and by Him and that He knew us before he formed us, even before He formed Earth He knew that today would come and this was scheduled in His day-timer of my life. I love that entire chapter of Psalms because it's so encouraging to me. And then I read Jeremiah 1 today and heard the Lord say again that He knew me before I was born and that He had made great plans for me. They may not seem great in the grand scheme of humanity, but they are His plans and therefore they are great. He has planned for me to serve Him in some very ordinary and a few extraordinary ways, but I'm doing what He called me to do and that makes it significant. The part that hit me anew and fresh today was when the author of this book, Francis Chan, makes the connection between those verses and Ephesians 2:10, in which Paul tells us that we were created (conceived in the Mind of God before we were conceived in the womb, or even our parents were conceived) to "do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Wow, He already has a "to-do" list for me and He has spent every day of my life preparing me to accomplish those things, which by the world's standards may be insignificant, but by His standards are essential to the bigger picture. Then the author goes on to say, "My existence was not random, nor was it an accident." This immediately set my spirit groaning. There are so many children in this world who are victims of "worldly knowledge" or convenience or standards. Children who were not accidents, who were not random, who have or had very specific calls from God, specific to-do lists that were or are set aside ONLY for them. But many of these children are never given a chance at accomplishing these tasks because of our medical "advances" and advice of well-meaning, but misguided doctors. Many children never get the chance to accomplish God's goals for them because it's an "inconvenient" time for their parents. And still others, with whom my heart resides, are trying to fulfill their God given lists without the guidance of a loving parent or maybe having never even heard of God because they are never really spoken to, just spoken at, by the adults who care for them in orphanages. All these 147,000,000 orphans in the world were not random creations, not accidents, but purposefully created by God. Some of them will find their way home and live out the destiny God created for them. But far more will not be given the chance at that life that God meant for them to have because not enough people are willing to bridge the chasm between comfortable and "known" to the giant unknown of adoption. I read somewhere last week (maybe it was Katie's blog, not sure) that around 30% of Christians consider adopting at some point, but only 1% actually do. Only 1%, are you KIDDING me? Friends, we are all adopted! God adopted us when Jesus died on the cross. We are all part of an adoptive family! God gave us a stellar example of what He wants family to look like with Mary and Joseph.... Joseph adopted Jesus! Wow, just think of it, right there in THE Christian family is God's endorsement for adoption. I am blown away by the fact that 30% of Christians consider adopting. What stops them, I wonder? Fear? The unknown? The "hassle" of it? The daunting task? Money? I wonder if God is in those restraints? Is it God's will that holds back these 30%? I know that God does not call everyone to adopt, but if 30% of Christians are "open" to it, and if they actually followed through, do you realize there would not be one orphan in the world? 30% is enough to end the orphan crisis altogether. Somewhere there is a child whose destiny, planned, wanted, needed, scheduled, is not being realized because there is someone who is dismissing God's nudging at their heart. Somewhere there is a child who is waiting for his or her mother and father to stop considering and just put one foot in front of the other in faith. Is it you? I'm not saying it is you, clearly not all have been called. But if you were called, and you have considered it, what's stopping you? God needs you to step in so He can start clicking some things off that child's to-do list. If you feel the urge, but feel the fulfillment is just too much or you are overwhelmed and don't even know where to start, please e-mail me directly or leave me a comment. I will pray with you. I will help you sort through all your options and decisions. I will help you raise money, I will tell you what I know and put you in touch with people who know more. Just please take that little first step!
From The Message translation of Jeremiah 1:
"Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you..."
In this chapter, God also encourages us not to feel incapable, He says, "Don't say, 'I'm only a boy.' I'll tell you where to go and you'll go there. I'll tell you what to say and you'll say it. Don't be afraid of a soul. I'll be right there, looking after you."