I'm finally getting a chance to write down some of the many things I took away from the Orphan Summit last weekend.
I believe it was Doug Sauder, author of, "The One Factor" who said that the orphan crisis is obviously a problem that won't be solved in a day. We must have patience but also we must have an urgency in getting there. Proverbs 31:8-9 says, "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy."
If we are only motivated by the need, we will soon run out of gas. I've heard many Christians say they are adopting because God commands it..."take care of the orphans and widows"...among many other verses. I've also heard Christians say they hate when people use that reason for adoption. For years, I've tried to understand this. Obviously, it is a command of God and we are to obey His commands, right? The conclusion I've come to is some believe using this command as their primary reason to adopt is condescending to the child...sort of a 'rescue mentality' which offends them.
For us, to be honest, we never thought we 'needed' a bigger family, as others have indicated. The reason we've adopted is well, the first time God told me to in a dream and the second time, He impressed on both our hearts that there was a girl whom we needed and who needed us. God's command to take care of the orphans was a big part of this. Did we adopt just because it was our 'duty' or 'responsibility?'
No, absolutely not!
After years of thinking about this, I've come to the conclusion that it is not offensive or condescending to adopt because you simply want to follow God. Hear me out...there was a time in my life that I was lost and alone, a spiritual orphan. Then God saw me, had mercy on my, reached out to me and saved me. I now have been adopted into the family of God and He is my Abba Father, who will NEVER leave me or forsake me.
My dad died almost 9 years ago now. It was by no choice of his own, but he left me. He loved and adored me, but he left. He lives in heaven now and I cannot wait to be reunited with him someday. But on this earth and in this life, he left me. My heavenly Father will never leave me. Never.
So if I don't take offense at the spiritual state I once found myself in and the fact that I had a desperate need for saving, why would it be offensive to do what God did for me (spiritually speaking) for an orphan on earth?
I mean, He didn't do it out of duty but out of incredible love.
So it is with adoption. The source of our strength and motivation must be Jesus and His saving grace for me.
We do not adopt out of duty but from a heart of love, recognizing that adoption is a beautiful and direct picture and example of God's love for us. Adoption is the heart of God.
Al Mohler spoke about this. He said that if you look at the Bible, simply put it is about the creation-the fall (Adam and Eve sinning)-redemption (Jesus payment for our sins on the cross)-and the final consummation (eternity)
Israel was an orphan nation and God adopted them as His own.
Do you see the picture of adoption in this?
-A child is born (CREATION-every life is a gift from God)
-But for whatever reason the child is left either left by the death of a parent/s, or abandoned, they are alone (THE FALL)
-They are adopted into a family where they are loved (REDEMPTION-they are redeemed from possible death, loneliness, abuse, neglect, illness)
-And now have a forever family (FINAL CONSUMATION-HEAVEN)
The parallel is striking and obvious. Adoption is a perfect picture of the gospel.
We as Christians should be standing in line to adopt, wanting to be a reflection of the love and heart of our God.
I was so encouraged by these words but just haven't had time or the chance to put them down in words.
So this was day one of the Summit...I haven't even gotten to the brilliant message taught by John Piper. But let me tell you, it was POWERFUL and so true.
He asked the question, "What does it mean to live by faith?" Even though I read this passage of scripture many times before, I never noticed what it actually says. I'll give you the scripture and you can read it and try and figure out where he went with it. The passage is Hebrews 11:29-35. I'll give you a hint...there is a shift in verse 35 but not a break in the sequence.
I'll share about it when I get my next chance!