I knew going into it that God would use the adoption process to refine me. That is what I prayed for . . . to be molded and refined so that I would look more like Christ. But we aren't even a month into it and I'm starting to think I asked for a little more than I can handle! :)
God has revealed sin in my life almost daily as I pray for our son and spend time in the Word. He has shown me pride, selfishness, jealousy, disbelief, a lack of trust, comparison, and impatience just to name a few. Don't get me wrong, I'm extremely thankful. I'm humbled that God is so personal. He has a desire that I don't stay in mediocrity and complacency, but doesn't just leave me on my own to get out of there. He leads me to a new place. He speaks. He guides. He washes me with the Word and transforms my heart and mind. He scrapes off the old and clothes me with the new. I'm grateful.
But it hurts. I expected God to reveal some "big" things that I need to work on. Which He has. What I didn't expect is for God to want to use this adoption to open up my heart and reveal the "small" things, the hidden areas where He isn't Lord of my life. I know I should have expected this, but I guess maybe I thought that would come later once I had some of the other things worked out.
But instead this adoption has wrecked me. I've been completely overtaken by thoughts of my son across the world. My eyes have been opened to the plight of the orphan, the hungry, the thirsty, the lost. This knowledge is invading every part of me and screaming for my life to be fully submitted to Christ, to reflect His glory to the nations.
I'll give you an example . . . We are in Arkansas spending time with my family and having a blast. We went out to eat last night and had a fabulous dinner. The problem is that I have a sensitive stomach, but I still chose to eat too much and food that was too rich. My stomach hurt for hours after dinner. Normally I would just say "Better not do that again," knowing that the next time the opportunity arose I would probably do exactly that.
This time, however, was different. As I felt the pain in my stomach, I thought of my African son and his people. If he feels pain in his stomach it will most likely be from hunger pains because there is no food or because he is ill from a lack of clean water. With those thoughts God convicted me of not letting Him be Lord of how I eat and how I take care of my body. I don't need to eat too much or eat a bunch of food that isn't good for me. That doesn't honor Christ.
I thought about when our son is home and when he is old enough to learn about where he came from. How will I explain to him the problem of hunger in Ethiopia if he has grown up in our home watching us eat in excess and operate out of instant gratification?
It may seem silly, but I was so humbled last night that God wants to refine EVERY part of me so that I will bring glory to Him . . . even in the way I eat. I'm heading to a new place. Are you?