“What does it take?” She asked me from the sofa we shared. It was her mother’s sofa, the one upon which we’ve sat so many times before and bared our souls, the one from which we’ve poured out our sadness and our pain, the one that has cradled us when life has seemed too hard, the burdens too heavy. It’s the couch from which we’ve shared our hopes for our children and our dreams for an orphan ministry. It’s the one that’s held us safe and cozy on cold days as the children have played all around us, and quarreled and fussed at our feet and then found their way again.
It’s not a day that particularly stands out in my mind as separate from any other day in which we squeezed a couple of hours into our crazy schedules to reconnect. Yet these words she spoke have resonated in my mind like the seemingly endless reverberations of a triangle as it hangs freely from its leather strap. “What does it take?” She asks me. And then she perisists, earnestly, urgently. “Tell us what it takes. You need to write a post about what it takes to adopt a child. The world needs to hear it. You need to tell it.”
Again and again the question fills the corners of my mind. The answer comes to me amidst the quiet moments, and I hear it among the clamor of my kitchen too. I hear it when the children are playing and quarreling and hungry, and when the dogs are barking and Mr. Houdini Bunn is chasing Cappuccino, the cat, and the guinea pigs are squealing for carrots. It seems to poke at me as I go about my days, and it interrupts my thoughts as I care for my children. Always, the answer is the same. Always, the same deep inner conviction and knowing wells up from within that Holy place inside of me where God lives and dwells, and by His immeasurable grace, daily makes my desires His own.
It takes one step, just one tiny step.
The words begin to take shape in my mind.
It only takes one step.
But it is not merely one easy step into the light, not one step onto solid ground. No. It is one tiny, fearful, uncomfortable step that leads us beyond our comfort zone and into the vast unknown. It is one timid, quivering step that causes our lungs to suck in air as if our life depends upon it and sends our hearts galloping hard within us and fills us with a fear that shoots through to our finger tips like electricity. It’s a Lord Jesus, I give you my life and I lay it in your hands no matter what that costs me, no matter how hard it is, no matter if I must care for this child for the rest of my days, no matter if I feel ready, no matter what kind of step.
It takes one tiny step beyond all that we know and all that we think is safe and certain. It is a step that takes us beyond ourselves to a place where our inadequacies become clearer than they have ever been before. Indeed, it requires a step that takes us to the end of ourselves, to our deepest weaknesses, our greatest needs. It’s a step that leads us to rely on the imeasurable power of God in a way we never have before.
It takes one tiny step of faith.
The just shall live by faith.
We walk by faith, not by sight.
Oh friend, not one of us is ready. There will always be a need we are praying about. There will always be needs our own children have that we do not have the strength or resources in ourselves to meet. There will always be a leaky pipe and a refrigerator that somehow has forgotten how to keep things cold. The car will always be accruing miles on the odometer, and the children will get sick and the walls will need to be painted and we will grow weary and sometimes falter and need to rest. There will always be another mountain to climb, another need that still dangles dauntingly in front of us and reminds us of our desparate need for God in our lives.
And NONE of that matters.
God’s children are waiting all over the globe for the Body of Christ to put action behind their faith and take that first step.They are waiting for us to take Jesus at His word and believe that He meant what He said when He said that He will care for us and meet every need as we step out in faith to meet the needs of the fatherless.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[g] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. – Matthew 6:25-34, Emphasis mine.
Babies are lying in cribs all over the world longing for someone to hold them. Children are watching parents come for their sons and daughters and longing for someone to come for them. Teenagers are watching the days pass like ticking time bombs that will explode the day they age out of the adoption program and are forever left to join the ranks of the unadoptables, the ones who were never chosen.
The answer fills me with the same boundless, infinity as the endless sea of the children’s needs. It fills me with the simplicity of my Savior’s words.
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have recieved it, and it shall be yours.” Mark 11:24
It takes faith.
It takes faith to lay our needs, the needs of our children and the needs of the orphans all over the world, at the feet of Jesus. And it takes one tiny step of faith into Jesus’ waiting and willing arms to begin the process of adoption. Once we take that first, faltering, tiny step into the vast unknown, we come face to face with the very power of God.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
The children come home by faith and by nothing that we can do in our own strength.
“Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord. ” Zechariah 4:6
“What does it take?” The words reverberate in the recesses of my mind, and the still small voice I have come to recognize as the Spirit of God within me echoes back in gentle reverberations of His own, “It takes faith, faith, as tiny as a mustard seed.”
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