Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Weary From Battle

As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.  

That psalm from is our life right now.  We are so weary from this battle, please pray with us and for us.  Let me explain:

First of all you must understand that adoption is not simply a good social thing to do, nor is it simply caring for orphans.  Rather adoption is spiritual warfare and we are in the midst of the battle.  A battle we thought was mainly with self, but today God revealed that this battle is with Satan.  In his book on adoption Dr. Russel Moore says that adoption is spiritual warfare; he is right.  By the way at least visit the link above and read about the book so you know some of the theology behind adoption.  We are soldiers in God’s army, and we are called soldiers in many places, like: Philippians 2:25 and 2 Timothy 2:3-4, Philemon 1:2, we are fighting.  

God has placed Connie and I in a difficult spiritual battle, one where Ephesians 6:12 is all too real.  We have found ourselves battling for the souls of the children we want to love with the love of Christ, we cannot save them, but we can show them a love that surpasses human understanding because He first loved us, 1 John 4:19. If you keep reading past verse 12 in Ephesians 6:13-20 you will find how we are to fight this battle, and pay particular attention the gear we are to put on when we battle: 

Belt of truth
Breastplate of righteousness
Shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace
Shield of faith
Helmet of salvation
Sword of the spirit

Notice that the shoes that we are to put on are shoes that make us ready for battle by the gospel of peace.  Not one of these pieces of armor will protect us if we flee.  The whole armor of God is what we wear to engage in battle, not retreat and run like a wimpy, faithless punk.  In his classic work, The Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan writes about a horrendous battle that is so germane to us right now, and will be to you in due time, he writes this:
In the Valley of Humiliation, poor Christian was hard put to it; for he had gone a little way before he espied a foul fiend coming over the field to meet him: his name is Apollyon. Then Christian began to be afraid, and to wonder whether to go back or to stand his ground. But he remembered that he had no armor for his back, and therefore thought that to turn around might give Apollyon greater ease to pierce him with darts; therefore he resolved to venture and stand his ground.

Today we have resolved to venture and stand our ground, will you support us in prayer and encouragement?  We are stepping out of the boat while rocking out to Lecrae's, Walking On Water, and we are singing:

I bet ‘cha never see me with my head hung low
I bet ‘cha never see me with my eyes to the floor
I bet the boys skit, homie they ain’t no more
Aint no lookin back, letting everything go
When I see a problem, when it get tough
I don’t get soft, man, I ain’t givin’ up
There ain’t turnin’ back, man, I will stay strong
It’s time to go hard or it’s time to go home
So I’m walkin’ on water, hey                                                                                                                                                                                            

It's time to go hard!

We know this battle will be won and that victory is His, Proverbs 21:31, and victory is already secured in Jesus' name.  1 Corinthians 15:57 and 1 John 5:4.
Oh, God help us say with Paul: when I am weak then I am strong, 2 Corinthians 12:10, so that we may say ". . . we have fought the good fight, we have finished the race, we have kept the faith.", 2 Timothy 4:7.  Because we know ". . . there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing." (2 Timothy 4:8)

Our third daughter was visiting us last week and used a phrase that stuck with me, cluster trials, and that is a most accurate description of our our summer. I know that these trials are preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison (2 Corinthians 4:17) but right now we look through a glass darkly, (1 Corinthians 13:12) and when you do that everything on the other side is a little bit muted, and the process of living the Christian life is the process of that dirty, filthy, nasty water getting filtered until one day we see clearly the King on the throne welcoming us, for our battle is over!  Oh how we long for that glorious day, but until then we know " . . . that we will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in us you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 1:25-26) and we think of the "you all" and "you" as the foster children.  

I know this all sounds great and churchy, but someone out there is thinking how naïve and pollyannaish we must be, and to you I say that we serve a Holy, Righteous, Sovereign God who can bring something out of nothing, just ask the young lady in our church that was one of the kids in the system, and knew far too well the reality of evil and pain of brokenness.  God can, does and will work miracles for His Glory, in His timing and in His way.  If we foster 53 children and everyone commits suicide later in their lives, would you say that we failed?  Or that the love and aroma of Christ that we shared with those troubled souls might have been the most joy filled time in their lives?  Does it matter, really, does it? We may prepare the soil, or plant the seeds, maybe water, or even harvest, but at the center of all those things is Christ.  He will look magnificently glorious when we reflect His glory by fostering (and adopting) the least of those among us.  We are not doing this to make converts, we are doing this to bring glory to God, and He looks MOST glorious when He saves a sinner from hell.  Please pray for the children we are fighting for.

The battle this summer has been a drip-drip-drip-drip-drip-drip-drip-drip-drip-drip-drip-drip-drip-drip-drip-drip-drip-drip-drip-drip-drip-drip-drip-drip-drip-drip-drip-drip.

Allow me to recall from my life this summer a series of events.  My wife went to pick up some goats in the minivan, which is something we have done before with no problem.  She calls to tell me the transmission is dead and she can barely move.  Well my wife is totally awesome and when she says the transmission is dead, then it is dead, if she says the steering is a bit loose, then the steering is a bit loose.  She has never mis-diagnosed a car problem, NEVER, so I knew she was right.  No problem we have towing, I will call and get a tow.  In the meantime I will put the cap on my truck, meet her, JD and the goats (yes that is plural, 2 goats), wait for the tow truck and send Connie with the truck and livestock, and yes sometimes JD can be classified as livestock.  After I call and set up the tow with my insurance company the driver calls to ask some more specifics and informs me that he will be there in 10-15 minutes!!!!  I will never make it in time, so I told him to just the whole package and tow 'em home.  He did laugh at the idea of towing a minivan with goats in it, but he agreed . . . as long as my wife was OK with it.  Well she had no choice but to be OK with it because I could not call to tell her because her phone died!!!!!  A while goes by the driver calls and says, which Valero is she at, I told him and he said she wasn't there!  OK, so I check my inbox again, oops, I told him the wrong place, but he was super cool and said he knew exactly where she was and would be there shortly.  Remember my wife has no idea I am not coming to get her and no way to find out.  Did you forget about the goats?  They are still in the van and by this time they have done their goaty business IN OUR VAN!!! No big deal it is only the way back and we had a tarp down.

Finally the tow truck pulls down the driveway.  (please realize that I am NOT happy at all, broken van, can't get through to my wife and generally displeased)  Well as I said the truck pulls down the driveway and guess who is driving the van?  THE GOATS!!!  Both of them were in the front seats, all googly eyed and making goat noises!  STOP LAUGHING, it was not fun!  Well we did laugh about it after we got everything situated.  The minivan driving goats was the start of our summer and our cluster trials.  I may get the following timeline out of order but here is a small list of the things that happened, IN THAT WEEK!

Minivan dead, then our automatic pool cleaner died after we put $215.00 of parts in, then my brother's pressure washer died while I was using it, then while brush hogging I hit some barbed wire which spun around and sheared the valve stem of my left rear tire, then lightning took out our computer, modem, router, cordless phone, chicken light timer, drill battery charger, dog fence and DSL filters.  But my camels were spared!  It has been like that all summer even easy tasks have been met with problems.  Just yesterday I was trying to jack up the Suburban to look at brakes that I "fixed" and guess what?  The jack's right wheel broke, it kind of tipped and the Suburban tipped and bent the jack so bad it would not go down enough to remove it from under the axle!  After an hour I had it fixed and the vehicle lifted.  Since I was in the mood I figured I would look at the left tail light to see which bulb was burned out and when I did that BOTH control circuit boards somehow got all goofy and stopped working right!

Well I could go on about MANY other simple tasks that became ordeals!!!  But I want to say this: mom gave me her old computer before mine died, phone company replaced my modem, which a router-modem, NO CHARGE, dad had extra dog fence stuff and gave it to me for free!  God provided and we recognize it and are thankful for it.

I will conclude with this thought:  when you are fostering children the simplest tasks will become ordeals, going to bed will be an ordeal, sitting at the table will be an ordeal, getting in the car will be an ordeal, wearing clothes will be an ordeal and guess what?  God has been equipping us all summer to deal with these situations, but Satan thought he could trip us and cause us to second guess our decision to foster, satan wants these children, but we will give them to God.  What he meant for evil, God meant for good, Genesis 50:20.

Until next time pray that we would fight the good fight.  Please ask us how you can help if you feel lead to help.

7 comments:

  1. Love you guys. Praying for you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous7:53 PM

    I'll ask ... how can I help? (Donna)
    P.S. I would post this under my real name ... but to put my name ... I have to include a "URL" ... and I don't even know what that is.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous10:25 PM

    Mom -- I believe in order to post it under your "name" you have to have a blog account, which you do not.

    ReplyDelete

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