James 1:2-8 NLT "Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waiver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.
We are currently in the affectionately termed "paper chase" of the adoption process. I can't believe what a humbling process this has been. I go to work and lead cross organizational teams thru complex projects with successful results. On a regular basis I take care of the administrative responsibilities for our house hold. So why can't I complete a form or letter successfully in this paper chase process? Unfortunately the errors made are not simple fixes. To correct the errors, involves a 3rd party to correct the paperwork, then I have to have it notarized again. I cannot express how frustrating this is to me.
I am lead to James 1:2-8. James tells the people of the church to think of troubles as an opportunity for great joy. So, in this paper chase process I am learning that these "troubles" are opportunities for great joy. I need to remember that when my faith is tested, my endurance has a chance to grow. So am I just supposed to waive these troubles off when in all honesty, I am aggravated and grumpy? It would be easier to just throw in the towel and ask God for option B. I mean really, is adoption really your plan for our life? Why would you want anyone to go thru this inefficient process? Again, James is so helpful.
I know that adoption is part of God's plan for our lives - he has been speaking His plan into our lives for 3 years now. I believe it is His plan because it is not something I would have chosen for my life. I also believe it is part of his plan because he is asking us to step out of our comfort zone. I am reminded of his discussion with Moses. Remember him? God speaks to him thru a burning bush (sometimes I wish he would talk to me like that) and tells him to leave his comfy shepherding job out in the wilderness, to go into the city and speak to the all powerful Pharaoh about leading the Israelites to freedom. Moses's response brings me comfort, because I am pretty sure I would have responded similarly. "Are you sure you picked the right person God? What if they don't like what I have to say? I am not a really good speaker. Can't you send someone else to do this task?" God asks Moses to leave the comfort zone to lead the Israelites to freedom. He did not say it would be easy - but he promised Moses that he would be with him and give him success in the task. Like Moses, I still have my doubts and ask him to send someone else. But then he shows me his strength and the fact that he is with me thru this.
So now I start asking what I can learn from the paper chase process? I need to be humble, put my pride to the side, and ask others for help. I need to realize that I can't do this by myself. James also tells us to ask God when we lack wisdom. I think it is fair to say that in this situation, I totally lack wisdom. God is good and gives me great ideas or gives me the courage to reach out and ask others for assistance.
Lord - I just have to tell you that this paper chase process is painful and I don't like it. I don't always understand it or agree with it. That being said, thank you for walking beside me and holding my hand. Thank you for the adoption agency that you established. Their staff has been gracious and patient with all my questions and long responses. Thank you for taking me out of my comfort zone because in the process, I meet wonderful people who have the opportunity to share your love with me. I am truly blessed by their actions. Thank you for the growth in my life because of these "troubles". Thank you for Moses example. Thank you for using me in your plan. You have heard the cry of the orphan and you have asked our family to lead one (maybe more) out of loneliness, fear and unsafe conditions.