Ok…for those of you wanting a scoop from the Adopting for Life Conference…here goes my 2 cents. If you are a believer, you are called in some way to live a life of redemption for the glory of God. Our God is a redeeming God. He heals the sick. He fathers the fatherless. He forgives sin. He brings life to death. And in some way–when and if you become His, He wants to use YOU to help redeem.
Really, when we become His—each of us will be called to play a very specific and important role in healing…redeeming…and bringing glory to His name. If you are His–He wants to use YOU to help furfill His glorious plan of redemption. Was this the theme of the Adopting for Life conference? Well, it wasn’t written anywhere–but for me, it was the resounding theme as I heard speakers like David Platt preach on Ruth being redeemed by Boaz…
Brothers and sisters, we are Ruth. We have done nothing to earn or deserve the favor of God. We were wandering with nothing and God has pursued us. God has stooped to save you from harm. God has protected you and provided for you. God alone has the right to redeem us. God alone has the resources to save us. And He, praise God, has the resolve to redeem us. And Jesus has resolved to obey to the point of death. Jesus has taken a cross and taken my sin and your sin and taken it upon Himself to die in our place. That is the Gospel. That Gospel is how God saves us and that Gospel should be the backdrop in our minds as we carry out physical adoption.
We aren’t all called to adopt. We aren’t all called to foster. We aren’t all called to be missionaries in third world countries. But I do know as believers we are all called to redeem. We ARE *all* called to help the poor—and to visit orphan and widow in their distress. We are. Well, the Bible tells us as believers to serve the poor, care for the widow and take care of the orphan (Lev.23:22, Duet 14:28-29, Duet 15:4, Prov.28:27, Prov.29:7, Prov.31:9, Isaiah 1:17, Isaiah 58:10, Isaiah 61:1, Matt.19:21, Matt.25:38, Luke 12:33, Luke 18:22, 1 Tim.5:3, James 1:27, 1 Jn.3:17-18…) We each have a role…a VITAL, IMPORTANT role in helping the widow, the orphan and the poor…and when EACH of us follows Him with abandonment—HIS GLORY IS REVEALED! When each of us follows and puts themselves aside—REDEMPTION BEGINS FOR THE HURTING! And there is only one way to find YOUR calling…surrender to Him—like Ruth…allow the Lord to scoop you up, redeem you, save you, and then WORK THROUGH YOU! You will find His will for your life…your vital call for His glory and their redemption when you seek Him with all of your heart…
As I sat at the Wiphan booth and looked around the room…I thought about so many people I am surrounded by who have followed their call…not always easy—but who are bringing redemption to the hurting and shining a beautiful example of the body of Christ. EACH plays such a different role…and in the end—it’s a beautiful tapestry of God’s glory. My heart—I know has been called to the birth family and widow…it is passionate to have their voices heard and to create opportunities for them to be offered hope in this life and to hear about Him in the process. I am haunted by heartbreak of the widow…and as I have prayed “help me Lord to understand her hurt and her heart” many days I have been brought to my knees in tears…and I get to serve through Wiphan Care and put some of my creativity to action for the sake of the widows. I *know* the Lord called us also to adopt…and I am curious how these two passions of mine will meet together in the months ahead. I believe the Lord has a plan.
I smiled sitting there as I thought of my friend Kristi who adopted a baby girl from Ethiopia last June…and upon her return she has used her voice for the orphan—the ones who have already been given up from their birth families. She posts children in need on her blog and helps them find a forever family. If you know Kristi, the girl loves to talk—but she now uses that voice of hers for the orphan and she is not only filling His plan of redemption for the orphan…but for her as well as she literally becomes more alive through helping place families!
Then I thought of Dawn who is a stay-at-home home school mom who has adopted seven beautiful children…6 from the states and 1 from Ethiopia…and they are hoping and praying for #8. She loves those children of hers and quietly encourages others on their own journey…she is the cheerleader for the families called to adoption patting them on the back and although she has endured 7 long waiting adoptions, lost a sweet baby girl in the process and battled with losing a referral—she continues to encourage families called to adopt…another beautiful offering of helping others redeem.
Another adopting mommy came to my mind…my friend Lindsey who adopted a little girl from Ethiopia and her heart for birth mothers beats like my own–and she and her family and packing up and moving to Africa this summer to live and help create business opportunties for the poor. Lindsey will be working in orphanges similar to the one her own daughter was brought to, and her eyes were opened more and more to the poor after bringing home their little girl. But it was through her adoption that God showed her how He really wanted to use her to help the poor, the orphan and the widow. They are selling their house, packing up their family and going across the world to serve and offer hope to the hopeless.
Then I looked beside me—at Addie. She is a mommy of two beautiful children…and she doesn’t have a blog (or I’d attach it…and you’d be blown away) because she is so stinkin’ busy serving women here in Atlanta and Wiphan Care…but I’m so blessed because I get to watch this girl mother and serve. Addie is called to be a mom of two children—but I remind her often that she has 450 orphans, 150 widows AND at the same time she serves on a ministry here for women as well. She and her husband are literally addicted to serving orphans and widows like you wouldn’t believe…and having a smaller family has freed this precious family up to serve their world even more.
Which then leads me to smile as I think of Addie’s friend Meredith who is called to Safe Families…and being a “middle mom“…who is putting her heart out there to fall in love with babies and then give them back to their moms after they are able to get their feet on the ground. Another beautiful picture of living a life helping others be redeemed.
Each of these looked so completely different as I thought of them. One serving the widow. Another the orphan. Yet another the adopting family. Another a mom who just needed a few weeks to get her feet back on the ground before giving up hope. Such wonderful pictures of redemption. Such a beautiful picture of the body of Christ. And really—this is what I thought most about at the conference this weekend. That we aren’t all called to adopt…but we are all called to serve the widow, the orphan and the poor.
And the most beautiful thing of all—is there is nothing more redeeming than following the Lord in being used to redeem others. There is nothing more furfilling. Nothing more exciting! We should all be constantly pouring into the poor, the widow and the orphan. There is really no other way as believers to live…and there is no greater way to spend our time. Lead us Lord to those you desire to serve. Show us Lord where you want to use us. Give us the direction to go Your way and the courage to follow…no matter what.
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Matthew 25:31-46