Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Post Christmas musings, not the fun and easy thoughts

I have not posted in almost a week. SO much has transpired, some "good stuff" and some "not-so -good" in and around the Christmas holiday. My heart has been much more focused on the SECOND COMING of JESUS as we have celebrated the FIRST COMING. Our world was in such a tangible mess when that precious Baby was born in Bethelem; our world is still in a tanglible mess today, perhaps more so because so many have The Way but keep it to themselves, we have the technology to know how bad life is for so many more people, the technology to help so many more people, and so much of our world is hurting, agonizing over life with no direction and no Hope. Last week I shared about Esther's friend Matt and about a man I'd never met named Derek Loux. He and his wife, as I shared are also adoptive parents.
Someone shared this with me this morning and with Derek and Renee still fresh in my thinking, Matt's family too, and with the unexpected news that members of our dear friends the Riggs ' family were invovled in a nearly fatal car crash late last night, I am going to share Derek's words. PRAISE GOD that things did not turn out for Garrett, his aunt and uncle as they first seemed they might, but these people are all ready for Jesus' SECOND COMING . They have understood redemption, received salvation, and have Hope.
Here are some of Derek's thoughts about redemption as God reveled them to him during the adoption of three of thier children from Ukraine. Be challenged, be blessed....be blessed to challenge...... and be challenged to bless!!

"Renee and I are sitting in the office of a telephone company in Novagrad Valenski, Ukraine; using wireless internet. We are in the middle of adopting three special needs boys from an orphanage here. Two of the boys have Down Syndrome. Roman is high functioning, energetic, and happy; Dimitri has serious mental retardation, failure to thrive, and though he is five years old, he is the size of a 1 yr old. He has sores on his face, a distinct smell of death on him, and yells out if we try to do anything with him other than hold him. Because he has less ability to respond and learn, he naturally gets less attention and care from the orphanage workers in this world of limited resources. The harsh reality of the "survival of the fittest" principle is a life and death struggle that this little boy is losing fast. Our third boy Sasha, is a brilliant six year old who has Spina Bifida (the condition our son Josiah died from in 1996). He is like a learning sponge that can't get enough! He is happy and alert and thirsty for knowledge and experience. So with two of our boys we get an immediate return on any investment we make. With Dimitri, there's not much immediate gratification. In fact, it's unknown when and if there will be a return at all. This is the kind of situation that makes the carnal, fallen, human reasoning think, "Why try? What's the point? What will this produce? What good will this do? Why not select a boy who has more "potential"? This looks like a lost cause". Two days ago we drove for hours into the Ukrainian countryside to the village where Dimitri was born. We met with officials there and signed papers and answered their questions. We also went and saw Dimitri's house. The day had been long, we were still recovering from jet lag, I was beginning to really miss my six daughters at home and all the familiar things our fragile human hearts entangle themselves with in feeble attempts to feel secure. Sitting in the dark on our very long drive back to Novograd that night, the Holy Spirit began to whisper to my heart, and new understanding about redemption began to take shape. I was thinking, "Man, adopting this little boy has been so much work. This is exhausting, expensive, uncomfortable ... and it doesn't feel very rewarding right now." What am I doing in some little Soviet car in the dark, in the middle of rural Ukraine in frozen December, as the driver dodges cats and potholes? What if Dimitri doesn't improve at all? What if we get "nothing" out of this? … Ahhh, there it was; that dark, fallen, unreedemed, selfish human love, rooted in the tree of the knowledge of "good and evil". The love the Greeks called "erao" love. The love where we treat someone as precious and treasured for what we can get out of it. This is unlike "agapeo" love, the God kind of love that treats someone as treasured and precious for their good, not for my good. It's when I love a person in order to meet their needs, having no expectation of them meeting any of my needs. At a whole new level, God is working His kind of love into my weak heart, and He's using little Dimitri to do it. On the drive home that night, the Lord whispered in my ear, "This is Redemption. Derek, do you know how far I travelled to get you and bring you back? I had to be separated from my Son, in order to get you, just like you are separated from your children in order to get these boys. Do you know how expensive it was for Me to purchase you? It cost me everything. Do you know how broken, sick, damaged, twisted, dirty, smelly, and hopeless you were? And at the end of it all, you had nothing to give me or add to me. I did it for you. I emptied myself and became nothing so that you could have it all. This is redemption. My friends, adoption is redemption. It's costly, exhausting, expensive, and outrageous. Buying back lives costs so much. When God set out to redeem us, it killed Him. And when He redeems us, we can't even really appreciate or comprehend it, just like Dimitri will never comprehend or fully appreciate what is about to happen to him … but … he will live in the fruit of it. As his Daddy, I will never expect him to understand all of this or even to thank me. I just want to watch him live in the benefits of my love and experience the joys of being an heir in my family. This is how our heavenly "Papa" feels towards us. Today, settle your busy heart down and rest in the benefits of redemption. Enjoy the fruits of His goodness, and stop trying to "pay Him back". You'll never get close you goofy little kid."

4 comments:

Mom to 9 Blessings! said...

AMEN!

Absolutely powerful and inspiring for sure!

Love you!
Jill

Salzwedel Family said...

That was beautiful! Thank you for sharing. I am feeling very blessed by reading that.

God's Grace said...

All I can say is WOW!

Autumn Mist said...

This is so deep, and meaningful to me on a personal level, that I need to go and ponder it! Thankyou.