Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Adoption Update: Letting Patience Have Her Perfect Work and Finding Sweet Peace - 5.15.2013


But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. – James 1:4

It has been more than a month since we have officially yielded and handed this adoption back in to the Lord’s Mighty hands.  Our submission is in the form of trusting alone on the actions of God…even with the resources at our fingertips.  The temptation has come in tiresome waves, but the Lord has provided strength. I don’t know His will for all adoptions, but I know He has called us to this test of patience and we have grown mightily under the pressure.  He has especially worked a miracle in me and I have never known such peace amidst such unknowns. 

Our pastor preached on the story of Ruth this past Sunday. I am visual person, so as he retold this well-known story, I clearly saw a picture painted: A lowly outsider, dependent on mercy alone, diligently gleaning in the field, probably crawling at times, or at least hunched over and focused on the task at hand.  And I saw a benevolent Lord who instructed his reapers to walk before her and leave handfuls along the path.  I suddenly saw Ruth as a picture of a believer and Boaz as our merciful Father.  She was steadfast and focused on God’s will….and the path before her was purposely strewn with the mercy and benevolence of God.  And yet, if Ruth had been impatient, distractible, or stubborn, if she would have held her head high, peeking over the other rows and hopping from field to field, she would have missed the blessings the Lord had laid in her path.  She instead, worked steadily along in humility, following on one path as she was instructed, until she came upon a generous handful, and another, and another.  This picture was a game changer for me. 

Faith means keeping my eyes focused on Him until I stumble over the blessings underfoot?  God has used this adoption to grow our family (spiritually) more than I could have ever imagined.  I have TRIED (by my own strength) to focus on the process rather than the product, the journey rather than the destination, but nothing has ever made it so clear to me than this picture of Ruth.  I am to glean for my daily bread. I am to follow a narrow path. I am to be grateful for the day’s gathering. And I am to expect (by faith) that there will be blessings poured out along my path, with no concern to what or where they are.

I can’t help singing “just keep gleaning…just keep gleaning, gleaning, gleaning” (to the tune of the fish in Finding Nemo’s “just keep swimming”) every time I feel the devil’s presence, a twinge of fear or doubt. The Lord has given me this gracious clarity to keep me on the path, knowing He has set a handful before me and only if I am steadfast and continue in faith, will I find it there.  The commitment God has expected of me all this time is finally clear.  This is what it means to rejoice in tribulation. This is what it means to let patience have her perfect work.

When I am not singing goofy parodies to resist temptation, the words of this hymn rest on my heart, bringing constant conviction and truth:

You have longed for sweet peace,
And for faith to increase,
And have earnestly, fervently prayed;
But you cannot have rest,
Or be perfectly blest,
Until all on the altar is laid.

Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid?
Your heart does the Spirit control?
You can only be blest,
And have peace and sweet rest,
As you yield Him your body and soul.

Would you walk with the Lord,
In the light of His Word,
And have peace and contentment alway?
You must do His sweet will,
To be free from all ill,
On the altar your all you must lay.

O we never can know
What the Lord will bestow
Of the blessings for which we have prayed,
Till our body and soul
He doth fully control,
And our all on the altar is laid.

Who can tell all the love
He will send from above,
And how happy our hearts will be made,
Of the fellowship sweet
We shall share at His feet,
When our all on the altar is laid.


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