Today there was an excellent devotion sent out on my yahoo group. It was on the delays that God allows in our lives. I will paste it to the bottom of this post.
As I read the devotion, the word preparation popped into my mind. I'm always so impatient, but I have been thinking about how much God has used the delay to give me another child for His glory and for my benefit.
Two years ago, I prayed that God would give me an effective ministry. I had just started helping out with Women's Ministry at our church and I hoped that God would continue to use me there and maybe allow me to lead my own bible study. Three days after I prayed that prayer, I went in for my five month ultrasound and found out that our baby boy's heart had stopped beating. Following that loss, we lost three more babies in a row. I had lived such a protected and happy life, I had never felt pain like that in my life.
I've been amazed at how God has used that pain to make me more compassionate, empathetic, and able to minister to other women who are hurting. Prior to those losses, I could care but I didn't really know what it felt like to hurt. I also hadn't had the privilege of knowing what it is like to have God's comfort and love poured on you when you are in such pain. I know that He will continue to use that pain to bring good things. One beautiful outcome has been the expanding of our hearts to want to adopt.
I have fallen so in love with our new son, whoever he is. I am so thankful that God has made me wait for him. And now, as I continue to wait, I know that God will use the waiting to make me ready. I don't know what kind of emotional scars our son will have because of his own personal losses, but I believe that my own experience with loss will allow me to understand and recognize signs of loss in him that will be beneficial to his healing. I want so much to be a good mom to him and to be ready for him. As much as I hate to wait, I know that the time will allow me to read a lot, learn from other's experiences, and to pray a lot for the preparation of our whole family to love this new little one. I've already seen how as each day passes, he is becoming less of an idea and feeling more like the real person that he is. I see it a lot like pregnancy. At the pregnancy test, your baby feels like an idea. The more time passes, he becomes more and more real until you think you will die if you can't see him and hold him RIGHT NOW!!!!
I have so much to learn and get ready. I have a feeling that this year is going to fly.
My Little Liberian Boy....As I'm sitting here drinking my morning coffee and doing my morning devotions, I imagine that you are eating your dinner. I hope that you are getting enough to eat. I hope that you will have a blessed sleep with happy, sweet dreams. Your family is getting ready for you. Love, Mommy
Here is the devotion on delays that I spoke about:
TGIF Today God Is First, by Os Hillman
Yet when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was two more days. - John 11:6 Delays in our life are not always easy to handle or to reconcile in our minds. Often, when God does not answer our prayers in the time that we feel He should, we appoint all sorts of characteristics to God's nature that imply He does not care. Such was the case with Lazarus' sisters when Lazarus became ill and died. Jesus was a close friend to Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary and Martha. (Mary, you may recall, was the woman who came and poured perfume on Jesus' feet.) When Jesus arrived two days later, Martha shamed Him by saying, "If You had come he would not have died." She implied that He didn't care enough to come when sent for. It was a matter of priorities for Jesus, not lack of love. God often has to delay His work in us in order to accomplish something for His purposes that can be achieved only in the delay. Jesus had to let Lazarus die in order for the miracle that was about to take place to have its full effect. If Jesus had simply healed a sick man, the impact of the miracle would not have been as newsworthy as resurrecting a man who had been dead for four days. This is Jesus' greatest "public relations act" of His whole ministry.
What many do not realize is that the key to the whole story is in the next chapter.Many people, because they had heard that He had given this miraculous sign, went out to meet Him. So the Pharisees said to one another, "See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after Him!" (John 12:18-19)If Jesus had not raised Lazarus from the dead, there would have been no crowds to cheer the Lord when He came into Jerusalem riding on a donkey.
God often sets the stage so that His glory is revealed through the events that He orchestrates. He did this with Moses and Pharaoh, allowing delay after delay for release of the Israelites from Egypt. He did this with Abraham and Sarah for the promised child, Isaac. God granted Sarah a baby past the age of childbearing in order to demonstrate His power. God did this in my own life. He delayed the fulfillment of what I believed He called me to do for several years. But the delays provided the necessary preparation and greater glory that God was to receive. My friend, don't take the delays lightly. Do not faint as God places you in what seems to be a holding pattern. God is at work. God knows the purposes for His delays. Don't give up, for they are for His greater glory; so we need to remain faithful.
In response to this devotion, one of the moms said this, "He has shown me again and again a glimpse of what He went through to call us His adopted sons and daughters. He waited 18 years for me to surrender my life to Him. A few extra weeks of waiting is nothing compared to that." I thought this was a beautiful reminder of how adoption on earth reflects God's adoption of us.