Last night I spent time reading the blogs of other families who have adopted from Ethiopia and I am just floored by their stories and how God's Mighty Hand has been in every detail.
God taught these families SO much during their journeys and I just started praying that He would open my eyes and heart to His wonders. I have this, almost, urgent feeling because I don't want to miss out on a a single thing that God is trying to teach me during this adoption process.
After reading the stories last night, one thing I feel like God is revealing to me is how much I still rely on material things to make me happy - how so many times I still get caught up in what the world says we must have - a size 6 body, the trendiest clothes, a big house, new cars, etc. As I was praying this morning I was telling God that desiring material things is something I fear I am going to struggle with until the day I die. Some days I am perfectly content, but then one trip to the mall can change that in an instant - I HATE that about myself.
I was praying "Lord, you are calling John and I to adopt a child from a country where people live on less than $1 a day. Where kids go hungry - help me to get a grip! Strip away every single one of my desires for more stuff! You are more than enough."
I feel so selfish when I think about what people in Ethiopia (and other countries) face. I have it SO good...I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, food on the table and I am healthy! That should be enough! But look at what people in Ethiopia face: (this information was gathered from http://data.org
- 41% of Africans live on less than $1 a day
- Today in Africa, there are 12 million AIDS orphans and that number is expected to climb to 18 million in 2010
- 46 years old is the average life span for an African
- ONE Million children are killed by malaria each year, which can be prevented by a $6 mosquito net
This puts things into perspective! The Bible makes it clear that we aer not to store up "treasures on earth, but we are to store up treasures in heaven." (Matthew 6:19). It also says that we should be content as long as we have good and clothing. (1st Timothy 6:8).
"But Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world and we can take nothing out of it." (1st Timothy 6:6-7)
Our society/media portrays a completely different picture than God's Word and that's where the trouble begins. Just this week I was at the mall and I got sucked into the lies that I needed name-brand (and expensive, might I add) clothes to look good, feel good, to make me happy. I left the mall in a complete funk! Can you see why I hate this part of myself?? I could just scream! John and I are about to adopt a child (who might not even have food or clothes) and I am STILL letting the devil fool me into thinking that I need to keep up with the worlds standards.
God still has a lot of work to do in me...I want to close with an excerpt from the Bible Study I am doing called "No Other Gods" by Kelly Minter. This is an e-mail that the author received from a friend who is a missionary in China. She wrote this after a visit back to the United States.
"If it be any encouragement to you all, this is what I saw, especially in America: pain (deep, private, unanticipated, suffocating) met with stubborn hope (white-knuckled, clinging to Him, rock-bottom conviction that His offer of Reconciliation is the only viable option, and a willingness to risk believing that Redemption is not only something that means we get to go to heaven, but something that He is passionate to carry out now, in specific life situations, to make things show His brand of beauty - in which a healed relationship or person can reflect more glory than one who never knew brokenness"
Kelly Minter goes on to describe who I hope to be "A person who is clinging to God with fierce abandon despite my caving and pained heart, believing indeed that "redemption is not only something that means I get to go to heaven, but something that He is passionate to carry out now."
Lord, I believe you're passionate about redeeming me from the temptation for material things that I struggle with on a daily basis. I thank you for continuing that redemption process by bringing to my mind the precious faces of Ethiopian children who have nothing (material), but yet have EVERYTHING (a joy so deep in the midst of so much pain). Help me to be content with what I have and to desire more of YOU! Thank you for your precious son, Jesus! Amen