Friday, September 19, 2008

When "the plan" doesn't go like we've planned

Whew. Heart-breaking day in Ukraine today. The family I met who were supposed to have their day in court today (technically, yesterday)??? Didn't. Happen. As in, the boy chose to stay in Ukraine. I started praying last night, and prayed at different times throughout the day, and checked their blog at work every chance I got. While the pharmacist was gone to pick up her daughter from school, I sat down to read their update.... And he decided he couldn't do it. Time invested away from their country, away from their other 2 kids and family and friends and church and jobs and LIFE... Gone. Time they can't get back. That third child they had already planned on being in the family? Now there's a hole. That bedroom they had already prepared? It will be empty. That money they spent on various things to complete the adoption and get to and from Ukraine? Gone. Because he loves that family, but he loves his friends more. Because he doesn't think he can be part of a family. Because he likes the freedom of not being in the orphanage. Because he has no CLUE really what a family is/does/means, and he was probably scared. Because he is just a little boy who nobody else gave a chance, so that when given a chance, he wasn't really sure what to DO with it. Because he is just a teenager, with no way of knowing how to compare two very different futures. Sure, to us, you know, those of us who grew up in America, who never had to live on $8 a day and go from a very structured environment to figuring out how to survive on your own over night, who know that Mama will be there to kiss your boo-boos, or Daddy will teach you to drive that car, to us, it's easy to see what choice we would make, you know, if it were us. We would choose the family.
BUT.... Is this how God feels? Obviously, God is not at all surprised by the outcomes of difficult situations, He knows in advance how things will play out... But He is "not willing that any should perish," soGod provides a Way..... Even though we grew up in church, we didn't really "get it" until we made those steps to become a Christian. Sure, we stepped out in faith. God is not surprised when someone rejects Him, but it has to hurt... So this family gave up a LOT of things (time, money, work, being with their children for weeks, etc) to adopt this boy.... And I am absolutely NOT trying to minimize their pain in any way (I'm sure this is just as painful as losing a child to death)... But God gave HIS SON... His One and Only Son... Jesus died on the cross, KNOWING that people would reject Him... KNOWING that someone would say "Well, Jesus, I really do love you, but I love my (girlfriend/boyfriend/car/house/alcohol/drugs/sinful lifestyle too much to come be with You!"
But it doesn't stop just there... And I'm preaching to myself on this part.... Every time we choose to do (insert a million things here) instead of reading our Bible, praying, witnessing to that person when God whispers to us to do so, giving that extra money to missions or offerings or such.... We are telling God "Sorry, God, I know You gave Your Perfect Son to die in my place, but I love my internet/game system/athletic team/only day to rest/family time TOO MUCH to follow You." Ouch. Does realizing and admitting that hurt you as much as it hurt me?
Please be in prayer for this family, including the son they are leaving behind.

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