Every year in our women’s Sunday school class, we choose a verse to concentrate on, pray about, or think we may need for our circumstances for the coming year.
Last year I chose Deuteronomy 6:5-7:
5You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
This has been the purpose of my life ever since the birth of our first child twenty years ago. However, with the girls arriving in February 2008, we were reminded of the importance of this command from God to parents. The importance seemed magnified for the girls because they had lived ten and seven years of their life in a different culture, different values, and different religious beliefs.
What I learned last year was how good it was for me to strive to obey that command. In looking for teachable moments at all times through the day, it reminded me of the truths I already knew and made them all the more precious as I saw the light go on in the girls hearts and minds as they were learning.
The first year the girls were home was full of learning language and adjusting to culture and our family, but this last year we have really been able to go deeper and it has been such a blessing!
Finally to my verse for this year – 2010. I chose Galatians 4:4-6:
4But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
These verses are FULL of application, but I will just pick up on a few things that I will focus on during the year. (As I meditate and pray these verses I am SURE that the Lord will reveal new and deeper things to me!)
“But when the fullness of time had come” – This speaks of God’s timetable in choosing when to send His Son to earth. Everything was in place for His perfect plan. What this says to me is that I need to rest in God’s sovereign purpose in my life. I need to wait for His timing because it is best.
“to redeem those under the law” – The Greek word translated redeem was often used to speak of buying a slave’s or a debtor’s freedom. Christ’s death, because it was a death of substitution for MY sin, satisfied God’s justice and exhausted His wrath. Christ actually purchased believers from slavery to sin and from the sentence of eternal death. I should NEVER quit meditating on that beautiful truth. However, I think of the word “redeem” in another, more personal way. This year we will be “redeeming” our son from India. He doesn’t neccesarily have a death sentence hanging over his head, but he has been in an orphanage waiting for a family his whole life – five years. God has burdened us to make Levi a part of our family where he will learn about the Savior who gave His life for us.
“so that we might receive adoption as sons” – Well, one guess as to why that phrase speaks to my heart! My study Bible says, “Adoption is the act of bringing someone who is the offspring of another into one’s own family. Since unregenerate people are by nature children of Satan (we were dead in our transgressions and separated from God) the only way they can become God’s children is by spiritual adoption.”
I believe that it is our spiritual adoption that gives us the model for earthly adoption. We “choose” a child (or children) to adopt not because of who they are. We can’t really even know that much about them before we accept them as our own. We step out in faith and receive them into our family and love them unconditionally. We continue in this even when it is difficult or takes longer than we think it should for them to assimilate into our family. We love them even if they express no love for us.
I don’t think I could personally do that except with the love of God in my heart that continues to work in and change me. It is Christ’s example of selfless love to me in His willingness to die for my sins that shows me how to think of my children’s needs above my own. And boy, let me tell you, I do not do that as well as I ought!
So, we wait for the completion of our adoption with hope. We wait, not knowing how long it will be before God moves the hearts in India to approve our paperwork and send our case to court. We wait knowing it is all in God’s hands and will happen exactly when He wants it to.
And, we anticipate Levi’s arrival with joy and hope. Even knowing that he has medical issues – some of which have been dealt with, some will be dealt with before we go get him, and some that will be looked into here – none of which we can be certain about until we have him home. God knows the details of all of this and we rest our trust and faith on that.
What we know is that God purposed Levi to be in our family just as He purposed each of our children no matter how they arrived into our home. He has been watching over and protecting Levi even before we thought about him. That is SO comforting!
“And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” – Because I am a child of God I have His Spirit in me reminding me that He is my Father. He is a loving Father Who cares for me as a precious child.
Aren’t those great things for me to be focusing on for 2010?! Lori