Praying Expectantly

It would almost be funny if it weren’t so sad.  I prayed so hopefully, so expectantly for Sam to get submitted with that last EP round.  I felt it in my bones.  I knew God was moving.  And then it happened!  Prayers were answered.  God moved mightily.

And yet, I find myself feeling so hesitant and cautious when praying about the rest of the timeline.  Almost like I’m undeserving of any special favors.  Like I’m afraid to ask for help.

Truth is:  I want this child home by Christmas, and I believe it can happen.  I don’t know if it will, but I believe it’s a very reasonable and attainable timeline based on previous years.  I want him HOME.

I don’t know why I’m afraid to ask boldly before the throne, like God isn’t a giver of good gifts, like he hasn’t JUST shown his love and faithfulness through our own mini-miracle.  This whole story has been a serious of personal miracles, handed down from our kind and generous Creator and Father.  He gives GOOD gifts.  He gives immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine.   He does it cheerfully.

And he loves orphans.  He loves giving fathers to to the fatherless.  This is his cause to champion, and we are merely the blessed recipients of this beautiful gift of parenthood by adoption and our sweet baby boy that we already love so much.  He is all in for this.  He’s told us over and over again in scripture, in personal stories, in encouragement from others, in miracles, in prayer, by his hand and through his spirit.  He is ALL IN for this.

I pray he uses our story to draw others close to him, to encourage other Christ-followers to take a very literal stance on serving the least of these.

It would be funny, if it weren’t so sad — how some Christians insist the Bible demands a very literal interpretation, from 7-day creation to Jonah, and yet when it comes to living out very clear directives to love our neighbor or the lowest among us… suddenly these literal interpretations are up for debate, even when they seem so important to God.

“When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong.  You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”  Leviticus 19:33-34

“The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.”  Psalm 146:9

“Thus says the Lord: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place.”  Jeremiah 22:3

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,  I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?  And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?  And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’  And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”  Matthew 25:35-40

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”  James 1:27

I’m not saying we have that all figured out, because we do NOT.  Not at all.  I’m just saying it’s been a very present conviction for me this year as we pursue adoption.  This is one speck of a way to follow God’s very literal directive to love our neighbor.  There is so much more, immeasurably more, and sometimes the “more than you can ask or imagine” is actually found when you pursue his radical love for people.

My own lack of faith has been evident in my hesitation to ask God directly and confidently to bring Sam home by Christmas.  I need to spend more time on this.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.”  James 1:6-7

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  Hebrews 4:16

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:19

As an aside (representing my thoughts only):  I keep thinking about what’s going on with North Korea.  I keep imagining families sneaking across the South Korean or Chinese border, these heroes who escaped a dangerous regime.  We lift them up, share their stories, welcome them with open arms.  I’m reading a book about one right now.  I wonder what other stories could be told if we were ready and willing to listen.



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