Monday, March 22, 2010
Comfort or Christ
I have agonized over this post for a long time. You see, in our society it is preached that you just come to Jesus and He will end all your suffering. Unfortunately, this does not line up with Scripture. Yes, Jesus heals and only He can fill the God-shaped hole we have in our souls, but if our lives were suddenly free from pain and we had all the money we needed and our kids were perfectly obedient...well, then we would have no need for God. Our dependence on God, our complete abandonment to Him is what He desires. Jesus walked the earth and modeled this. If ever there was someone who deserved to be free from pain, have lots of money and no suffering, it would be Jesus. He was God's only son. But, no, He came to this earth and suffered endlessly for all of us. Why should we think our lives would be above His? Why should we who are imperfect deserve more than the One who was perfect?
Jesus said in the Gospels to "consider the cost" of following Him. He does not promise us an easy life, but He does promise to carry us through life's ups and downs. He doesn't promise us treasure on earth, but He does promise us eternal treasures. In fact, we are warned that we will be persecuted and hated because we follow Christ. Do we gloss over verses like these or do we take Jesus seriously?
Three years ago, we were called to adopt. God made it abundantly clear that we were to go down this path. We had been foster parents for many years, so we were not completely ignorant to the trials we would face. It was a time to "consider the cost" - the cost to our family, the cost to our financial situation, the cost to our marriage. As most of you know, we went forward and brought home 2 precious kiddos from Liberia.
When you look at the heart of God, you will see He has a special place for the poor, widows and orphans. Most of us have seen pictures of starving, abandoned children. Our hearts may go out to them, we may even send money. Few people move to the next level and actually choose to change a child's life forever. The truth of the matter is that it is HARD. Your life will be turned upside down. You will deal with attachment issues, abandonment issues and birth mom issues. Your child/children will throw fits unlike any you have ever seen. They will do all sorts of things to distance themselves from the adoptive mom, because they are afraid to trust. Sometimes, I want to say to prospective adoptive couples, "Are you willing to do the hard things?" In essence, they need to consider the cost, for it shall be great.
The good news is that it is worth it! Just like our relationship with Christ is worth whatever we have to endure this side of Heaven, adoption is worth the cost. I get the privilege of seeing a life transformed right before my eyes. After yet another tantrum, I get to hold a precious child and lovingly reassure him/her that I will never leave no matter how naughty he/she might act. I get to emulate Jesus' love to my children - His unconditional, never giving up kind of love. I get to see signs of trust being built and a heart softened for the Lord.
Do we want comfort in this life or do we want Christ? Are we willing to live boldly for the One who will defend us from Hell? Are we willing to do the hard things to reap a closer relationship with our Maker? He was willing to do them for us!