Thursday, July 31, 2008

Yes, Maria. I'm Here - God.

Last night I felt a calling to read the book of Ruth. I kept wondering as I read it, "why" I was called to read it. I'm still not sure, but it did lead me into the introductory pages of I and II Samuel where I felt chastised by God for my recent childish like petulance at having to wait some more for my little one to come home.

All through our adoption, I have been reminded of Hannah's desire to have a child and how she prayed to God for this child. The verse I am (still) stenciling on Ellie's wall is I Sam. 1:25. So, as I read the introductory passage to this book, I was moved to repentance. It says (I'm paraphrasing much of it for space),

Four lives dominate the two-volume narrative: Hannah, Samuel, Saul and David. Many of us need to be reminded that these stories are not exemplary in the sense that we stand back and admire them, like statues in a gallery, knowing all the while that we will never be able to live either that gloriously or that tragically ourselves. Rather, they are immersions into the actual business of living itself: this is what it means to be human. There is surprisingly little talk about God here. But as the narrative develops, we realize God is the commanding and accompanying presence, that provides both plot and texture to every sentence. The stories train us in perceptions of ourselves, our sheer humanity, that cannot be reduced to personal feelings or ideas or circumstances. If we want a life other than mere biology, we must deal with God. There is no other way.

The biblical way is not so much to present us with a moral code and tell us "Live this way" nor is it to set out a system of doctrine and say "Think like this and you will live well". The biblical way is to tell a story and invite us to "Live into this. This is what it is like to be human. This is what is involved in maturing as human beings." We should not use Biblical revelation for what we can get out of it or what we think will provide color and spice to our otherwise bland lives. As we submit our lives to what we read, we find that we are not being led to see God in our stories, but to see our stories in God's. God is the larger context and plot in which our stories find ourselves. Such reading will necessarily be a prayerful reading - a God-listening, God-answering reading.

So, as I spent my time wallowing and wondering WHY we continue to wait to bring Ellie home, I failed to remember that it is God that is orchestrating this miracle and that I am but a player. By calling myself Christian, I am relinquishing my life to God for His use. There is a reason for our wait and my (Israelite-like) whining and moaning will not glorify God nor make others want to seek to find His way of life. My continuing to praise His name and remind others that He is in charge and that I am willing to wait until His time does glorify Him. (But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31). I want to soar like an eagle instead of wallow like a pig, you know?

As I awoke this morning after having read that last night, I felt led to Book 8, Chapter 8, Verse 8 due to the fact that we think our court date will be 08/08/08. Ruth (surprise) was the eighth book of the Old Testament, but did not have an 8th chapter. In the New Testament, 2 Corinthians is the 8th book. There is an 8th Chapter and 8th verse which I read, but didn't seem to find much relevance. BUT... then I read on a few more verses down I was reading from The Message this time and found the following verses to be very comforting:

So here's what I think: The best thing you can do right now is to finish what you started last year and not let those good intentions grow stale. Your hearts have been in the right place all along. You've got what it takes to finish up, so go to it. Once the commitment is clear, you do what you can, not what you can't. The heart regulates the hands.

In order to see what the translation what in another version, I went online to one of my favorite sites, to see what they said and I learned that these verses were originally written about the contributions for the relief of the saints at Jerusalem, but how beautiful to read it just when I needed this reminder from God to persevere, to praise and to do what I can and not what I can't.

I am so glad that He continues to remind me, when I am so far out of His will, that I am His and that He is in charge and I can rest and let Him handle it. It's a hard task for someone made like I am to "let go and let God" but He is kind to remind and gentle in His calling me back to the path He wants me on. I am hard to hear and slow to turn, but He is patient and loving. What a wonderful God I serve.


Lisa said...

Hi Maria,

Wow this post was so encouraging and your journey has helped me so much. I struggle everyday thinking this adoption won't happen but I need to trust God! I can't wait for you to come home with Ellie!

Lisa Cardon

Lori said...

Like I've said, I always ask God to just write me some notes and tell me what to do and He usually answers this way: "I did. It's the Bible."

Waiting is hard, but knowing you are waiting because that's the purpose--having the peace in knowing that...priceless.

I'm so glad you share your life. It helps put lots in perspective!