Thursday, June 23, 2016

Comforted to Comfort

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Almost two years ago my family and I started down the road of adoption.  

I can still remember it very vividly; it was about 10am on a Tuesday morning. I bent over to help one of the kids with a craft.  I had done this literally hundreds of times; we have been doing ministry at one of the orphanages in the country where we serve for about eight years.  

I had seen hundreds of kids and felt true compassion for them, but today was different.  It was a new call from a very familiar Voice!  A voice that began to call me to HIMSELF about 24 years ago, a voice that is unmistakable, a Voice that often calls us to places and tasks that we are very uncomfortable with.  

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. John 10:27  

At first, even for a week or two, I kept this to myself and prayed extremely hard about this calling.  You see, our two girls were almost grown, about to leave home.  Felesha and I would have time to maybe do some things we hadn't done in our earlier years of marriage. For example, we might have some extra time, extra money, for missions.  

This didn't seem to fit into the plan I had at all! Adopting a special needs child with very severe behavioral issues?  When I finally got up the nerve to tell Felesha and the girls about this, well, let's just say shock is an understatement! But, within days, even hours, our family began to have a peace that passes all understanding about this hopeful adoption. 

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. 9  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your waysand My thoughts than your thoughts.  Isaiah 55:8-9  

HIS plans are so indescribably better than we could ever imagine.  

The things HE has already taught me about HIMSELF through this adoption process are worth more to me than can be valued.  I wish I could tell you that we went home, had some fund raisers, came back, got the little one, and are living happily ever after!  But thats just not the case. 

We have been in a literal battle from day one for the life of this child. Evil doesn't give up its prisoners easily.  For over two years, we have fought through courts, health problems, paperwork, financial problems, waiting periods, more waiting periods, and countless battles of the spiritual aspect.  

I can testify that HE has been unspeakably faithful each step, every second, of every day!  Through days of joy, and days of tears, HE has given us a peace that passes all understanding and joy unspeakable!  We hope to some day bring this little one home, hopefully in maybe six to seven months.  

We would certainly appreciate your prayers for us, and especially for our little one.  We cant mention names or places at this time because of court processes and adoption privacy issues.  

One of the main lessons of the many HE has and is teaching me through all this is:  When I was lost and spiritually orphaned; unaware, uncaring, uninterested, undeserving, and without the least bit of hope or hunger for HIM, HE was working, calling, divinely weaving my life to bring me to HIMSELF.”  He adopted me into HIS family at just the right time for HIS glory!  

As we go through our short lives I would encourage you, as well as myself, to be living as pilgrims on this earth.  One step of faith toward HIS calling voice leads to another, then another, then another . . . all our obedience in following HIM is linked together like a perfect tapestry woven by the Masters Hand. People may not live what they confess, but they will live what they truly believe.

Deliver those who are drawn toward death and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. 12 If you say, Surely we did not know this, Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it?  He who keeps your soul, does He not know it?  And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?  Proverbs 7:11-2
Our guest blogger is Robby Rowland. He's youth pastor/associate pastor at Pine Grove Baptist Church in Hickory Flat, MS.
FYI (this from Leanna): 
The Rowlands are trusting God to provide, as He always has, for this adoption. As you might expect, however, international adoptions are very expensive. If you're interested in helping with the Rowlands' adoption expenses, their church adoption account is tax deductible and they get 100% of the donation. Write "Rowland Adoption" in the "for" line of your check and mail to Pine Grove Baptist Church, 6777 Hwy 5, Hickory Flat, MS 38633
In case you missed it (there was a problem with the link) here's a working link to yesterday's guest post by Jon Ginn: Living to Worship
#adoption #disciple