“Hear, O Israel: You are to cross over the Jordan today, and go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourself, cities great and fortified up to heaven,” Deuteronomy 9:1
God did not give them a play by play of the plan. He told them to go, gave them power to overcome people who were bigger than them and then told them to never forget it was God’s power that dispossessed those nations, not their own. However, the risks they could see as they prepared to step out were enormous, literal giants, and the ones they couldn’t see were terrifying.
In Exodus 3, God issued a similar order to Moses. “Go, stand before Pharoah and I will deliver the Israelites” (my paraphrase). God promised to give Moses the words to say, he only needed to be a willing tool. This momentous rescue mission, behind enemy lines, would challenge Moses far beyond just the journey and a few speeches. He would deal with huge risks to his life and the lives of his wife and children.
But what about the risk of not stepping out to do what God asks?! That is a risk that can’t be mitigated. The consequences are eternal.
If our brother or sister in Christ is passionately following God on a mission that directly follows His word then we should be lining up to shake their hand, be supportive, and pray for them. But I know that sometimes when we love someone we worry about them, we get concerned and wonder if they have really thought their actions through. When those worries are voiced it can leave us feeling unprepared and maybe even insulted. So, for their sake…
I asked myself, am I running headlong into our adoption journey with no research?! Of course not!! God gave me a brain and I’m using it. There are a bunch of books, blogs and articles that I’ve read and will continue to read; training and support groups I’m attending; adoptive friends I’m consulting; and prayers I am always praying. The risks that I can see I’m doing my best to mitigate. However, I can see mountains on the horizon that I’m going to have to climb and they look big! They all look like Mount Everest but isn’t that the point?? Isn’t that what He said would happen? “a people great and tall, the descendants of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom you heard it said, ‘Who can stand before the descendants of Anak?’”
Deuteronomy 9:2 The people of Anak were giants! They were the ones who caused the Israelites to succumb to fear in the first place, disobey God and wander the desert for 40 years!
And what about the valleys I can’t see from this perspective? There are plenty of possibilities that could come completely out of left field and knock me on my butt. Those things I can’t even prepare for except to wear my padded big girl panties.
THIS. IS. BIGGER. THAN. ME.
BUT GOD. You know what? I’m looking forward to flexing my spiritual muscles and pressing into Christ in a new way because this adoption is not just about baby girl and the fact that she needs to know Jesus and have a forever family! It’s about God changing me and changing my husband and changing our sons. He is growing us all in ways that the eternal benefits will far exceed any risk or challenge or pain.
Reality check…if I had known all of the risks and if I could have seen every challenge, every tear, and every pain then on February 2nd of 2013 I would’ve laughed and dismissed God’s voice when He told me I would have a daughter. I would have told Him “no way” and moved on with my life. Thankfully I couldn’t see all the risks. I would have missed all the amazingly wonderful things that have happened in just the last 6 weeks! I don’t know what the challenges will be, I don’t know how many tears I will cry, I only know that this is what God asked me to do. He put His love in my heart for this little girl because it’s what He wants. It’s what He needs me to do at this time. This rescue mission behind enemy lines is what I was created to do and I’m going to do it. It’s happening now. I’m not going to look back or take my hand from the plow. (Luke 9:62)
Because He asked me to go He will, like Moses, give me the words to say when I need words, He already has! He’ll tell me what I need to know when I get there. At every step so far He has granted Mike and I wisdom to make decisions and to recognize where we need to mitigate possible problems. He just asked us to be willing vessels that He can use for His glory to walk out His purpose. He is responsible for the final outcome!! The risk of me stepping out in faith, believing that He is going to come through for me, is far less than if I do nothing.
I know you love me and you can’t hardly contain yourself but I don’t need to hear about anyone’s cousin’s sister’s aunt who adopted and had a terrible experience. I don’t need to hear about so and so’s brother’s wife who was frustrated dealing with the state and their policies. I don’t EVEN need to know about all the things you’ve imagined up about all the possible horrific scenarios. Please take those things to God! Intercede for our family.
God is big enough to handle whatever is coming our way as we walk the road He asked us to walk. He is my risk mitigator. I’m sure I’m going to cry and probably call my people when my heart hurts. I may end up with a broken heart but it won’t be because I held back my love, time, money, compassion, joy, or life. I won’t hold back anything and I won’t give God something that costs me nothing. (1 Chronicles 21:24)
God is going to guide us into the promised land, He is going to dispossess those nations that are far too big for us to handle.
There is no risk that is so great it can’t be mitigated by God. Amen.