Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Battle Cry

This is war. Much like when Samson said, " With a donkey's jawbone I have killed a thousand men." Standing at war, with only a jawbone in hand, I fight, I struggle, I make war.
Our pastor said this week that it was good if we were struggling because that means we have not given up. I really like this perspective. I have not given up, giving in would be the easier thing to do most days. Letting the enemy win, letting him take more territory, letting him lace my life with more lies. But no, I struggle, I wage war.

But the thing about war is that we are not alone. If we scream that battle cry, our God is so faithful to put warriors behind us to help us pursue the enemy. Each using their gifts and talents to ensure victory. Reminding one another that this mountain will be torn down.
This is our life in the world of adoption and foster care. It is difficult, this call to love like Jesus. I thought that I knew how to love before, but I did not. I only loved what was pretty and convenient. Called to love the unlovely and called to love those that hate you, is a different story. This is where we find ourselves so often... Covered in insults, poop (literally) and in the middle of rebuilding the broken ones placed in our care.

Is the job difficult, ummm yes. Am I tired of fighting, ummm yeah. BUT what would I rather be doing? Watching others war on TV or actually being in the battle? I choose the battle. I choose it because of my support. I choose it because I love Jesus. I see Him at work in myself, calling me out of the pit of myself and to pour, pour, pour out myself to be a part of His redemption plans through adoption and foster care.

Here is the deal with support. They are the warriors that make this war thing work. They are the ones who pray for you, give you respite, make you a meal, give you a hug and remind you that giving up is not an option. They lock arms with you and struggle with you until healing comes. They don’t quit, they charge into the middle of the warzone with daggers and shields in hand, ready to face the giant, come what may.

We shouted that battle cry today. We were flooded back with reminders that we are not alone. Here is what my dad said, “There is no hole out there where you're alone, as your Support Team is right there with you, on the bottom floor... and there is no hole deep enough that your Support Team would not be able to come together and build the needed ladder, step by step, for us all to climb out with a smile on our face...”

What a beautiful picture. And why do we do what we do, because it is modeled. I love my children, adopted and foster, because God Himself first loved me and then He provided people to love me no matter what. My children now know that God loves them, but we are the first people to model the “no matter what” part of their story.
And trust me, they push, they spit and they reject. That is what has been modeled. But there is a new way, a fresh way, the godly way, to love unending. And even when there is nothing left, to keep loving in faith and planting seeds of love that will no doubt produce a great harvest.

For me, it has never been more beautifully stated than by Jen Hatmaker, “"Very quietly, very clearly, God spoke to me, "When I asked you to adopt, I invited you into the suffering of the orphan. That suffering includes all their losses, all their grief, all their fear. You are suffering with them right now, because that is part of the deal. You will suffer with them even more once they get home. When you said yes to adoption, you agreed to enter their brokenness and live there with them until they were healed. Obeying ME means suffering with those who suffer, which is dark and painful and it hurts. You don't get to live a happy, oblivious life while My vulnerable ones grieve. Jesus was a Man of sorrows, acquainted with grief, and you are His disciple. You are not wrong...you are following Me into the kingdom."

We are not oblivious. We will continue to invite. We will not give up. I am loved and therefore I choose to love. I will shout the battle cry and my warriors will come behind me. The sea in front of us will part, we will cross, we will enter into this promised land, the balm of healing will be poured out liberally, we will build an alter and worship the Lord Almighty. Amen.

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