I’m not supposed to envy. But every time I’m in Chuck E. Cheese with the troops, I wonder how other parents can press that big red button at exactly the right time for the light to stop on the bonus sign, winning them a thousand tickets. I end up at skeet bowling, winning two here, five there.
Well, after watching the videos yesterday of my new daughters, I felt like I finally hit the jackpot. I felt that way with all of my children, that’s for sure. But this time, I felt a range of emotions I hadn’t before.
I cannot wait to hold those little ones in my arms to say, Welcome home! Home is where my arms are. Home is ANYWHERE but where they are now. Home is where two adults, five children, and one Savior will love the heck out of them for the rest of their living days.
Hope is not ethereal. Hope is not intangible. It is not a word to describe some future state of happiness a country can enter into. Hope is the very real, tangible dream placed in us by God, and faith is the vehicle to bring it to pass. Or as it says in Hebrews 11:1—“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Faith is evidence!
Adeye and I had a hope to save these two girls’ lives. Impossible task. Where are we going to get $34,000 to make it work? Faith was the bridge that took us to that hope.
Oh my gosh, we are NOT EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE! I want to say that again and again. I shirk when people tell us that, because it blows up that bridge of faith that we need to get there. It translates as, “Because I’m extraordinary, this worked and will work for the rest of our lives.” But listen, it’s equally dangerous to say, “God made us extraordinary. Therefore, we are doing this. It’s by His grace.”
All of that may sound good, may sound spiritual. But it treads on perilous ground. It provides scores of people with an excuse not to step out in the things of God. It ever points to other people who God has sovereignly touched with “the grace.” It says, Unless I really get an epiphany of Jesus, I’m not doing it.
I used to live in that realm. I’m STILL tempted to live there. It’s safe. It’s comfortable. It’s not scary in the least.
Men, can we talk? As a man, terror—not fear—would enter my heart everytime my wife had “that look” on her face. You know the one. It shouts, “I need to talk to you about something I think God is telling us.” As a man of God, I have a responsibility, darn it! First of all, God speaks through ME, not her! I’M the spiritual head. And as such, I have the great and ominous responsibility to be…duh, duh-duh-DUH!…”THE GREAT PROVIDER.” And besides, I’m too old for anything except to relax. I need my peace and quiet so that I can be a productive father for my family…(long pause)…DARN IT!
Men, there is a fine line between being a “responsible” head of the household and dying to myself. It’s the world that tells me the things in the prior paragraph. I need money. I need youth. I need my time. I need the grace of God! Ooooh, that last one. What heresy!
For me, I needed a good kick in the pants to be the man of God that the Lord expects me to be for my family—and that’s one who takes chances and dies to himself. THEN the grace of God kicks in. Once I entered the world of the ridiculous (ridiculous faith, ridiculous decisions, ridiculous abandonment of my own way of thinking), freedom and grace took over. God worked. I stepped out of my box of what I thought it meant to be a good dad and good husband, and I made a simple (but HARD) decision. But even in that, there can’t be any pride. Why? Because I KNOW I’m a dweeb. Neither I nor my wife are extraordinary.
Adeye and I continually see ourselves as “the least and the greatest.” We are Gideon—the least man in his clan, the least clan in his tribe. We are Paul—the greatest sinner. Honestly, believe it or not, the most extraordinary thing we ever did was to say, “Here am I, Lord. Send me!”
I’m wondering if someone reading this post is being nudged by the Holy Spirit right now. I’m wondering, as I’m caving in my emotions now, who it is whom God is selecting to be the next Gideon and Paul. I’m wondering who out there is being stirred to speak to their spouse and say, “Money is not going to provide for us to rescue this child. GOD is!” Or to say, “I’m going to stop saying we can’t ‘handle’ a child like this. Rather, ‘God, do you want to handle this child through us?’”
You saving one orphan out of 147 million is worth to Jesus what those two mites were worth that the widow put into the offering basket. You will have “put in more than all.”
There is a child out there somewhere looking for your arms. Looking for “home.” Is God asking you to open them up?