So my life is far from hard. The “trials” I have gone through (I really don’t even feel right calling them that) are not comparable to those that many have had and I humbly praise God for that (if that is even a right thing to do).
I guess the toughest thing that I (and Karen) have gone through has been our two plus-year adoption journey. A plus-year year combination of international then domestic, on then off, known then unknown status, and now back on track. A series of ups and down – all the while knowing that our amazing Heavenly Father was in control…even when we didn’t know where He was leading next! BTW, Karen is great. At one point, she described a disappointing situation this way, “First I was sad. Then I was mad. Then I was glad!”
As you can imagine – plus-year years of a mix of emotions. At times, we’ve wondered “why God?” At times, we’ve asked “why not God?” We’ve even (in all honesty) said, “come on God!” We’ve cried, been confused, been excited, been hurt, been mad, been hopeful, been discouraged. The cool part is that through it all…THROUGH IT ALL, we’ve known that God was in control and had a plan…we’ve just gotten to see it revealed in segments and in His perfect timing!
Tuesday, I was listening to a Andy Stanley’s Defining Moments podcast (#4) and John 9:1-3 hit me. I’ve read this so many times, heard sermons, read commentaries… This time, it just hit me anew. It reads:
1As he [Jesus] went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.
The key part of the verse (of course) was the phrase, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” These was a reason that this man was born blind. The man didn’t know that – in fact, in that culture, it was assumed that either he or his parents had sinned and his blindness was the price. The true reason was that God had a providential plan. A purpose. A plan to use this man. A plan to glorify and exalt Jesus through this man, known and planned by God (according to Psalm 139:16) before this man was born.
This verse really hit me as I talked with Karen that afternoon. We have come so far in our latest process that it hit me – (Lord willing) we could be parents in about one to two months. Everything we have been through – EVERYTHING – happened so that the work of God might be displayed in our lives.
I can say with all humility, that the past four years have been the most growth-filled for me as a Christ follower. Knowing and trusting that through it all, God – my amazing Heavenly Father – has had a plan. A plan for my growth individually, for our growth as a couple, and a plan that would most importantly display the work of God…His providential hand…in our lives.
BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD!
This is my prayer in the desert, when all that’s within me feels dry
This is my prayer in the hunger in me, my God is a God who provides
And this is my prayer in the fire, in weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flames
And I will bring praise, I will bring praise
No weapon forged against me shall remain
I will rejoice, I will declare
God is my victory and He is here
And this is my prayer in the battle when triumph is still on it’s way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I’ll stand
All of my life, In every season, You are still God
I have a reason to sing, I have a reason to worship
This is my prayer in the harvest, when favor and providence flow
I know I’m filled to be emptied again the seed I’ve received I will sow
2008 Hillsong Publishing (Admin. in U.S. & Canada by Integrity’s Hosanna! Music)