Thursday, September 12, 2013

An adoption "gem" by John Piper

Part of our preparation for adopting has been reading lots of books on everything from a biblical perspective of adoption to living life as a bi-racial family. Everything I've read has challenged me in one way or another. A few things have shook me to my core and altered my thinking entirely. 

One of my favorite adoption prep "gems" is a series of sermons by Pastor John Piper who happens to be a huge adoption advocate and an adoptive father himself. Tim and I recently listened to a sermon titled, "What does it mean to live by faith in the service of the fatherless?" The sermon is based out of Hebrews 11 and is brilliant. I would encourage anyone who has adopted or knows someone who has or is adopting to listen to it. I have attached the link at the end of this post for your listening and viewing pleasure :). 

Here is a portion of the sermon that has stayed with me since the first time I listened. When I start to feel scared and I am tempted to let fear guide my thoughts and and decisions, this section pops into my head and I am reminded that God is enough and better than life.

4) The common feature of the faith that escapes suffering and the faith that endures suffering is this: Both of them involve believing that God himself is better than what life can give to you now, and better than what death can take from you later. 
When you have it all, and everything in adoption goes well, faith says that God is better; and when you lose it all, faith says God is better. The clearest illustration of this is verse 35: “[by faith] women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, in order that they might obtain a better resurrection.” 
What does faith believe in the moment of torture? Or the moment of family agony? That if God loved me, he would get me out of this? No. Faith believes that God is better—now, and in the resurrection. God is better than the miracle of resurrection that brought the widow’s son to life, only to die again later. 
In other words, faith is utterly in love with all that God is for us now, and will be for us beyond the grave. Faith loves God more than life. Faith loves God more than family. Faith loves God more than job or retirement plans or ministry or writing books or building the dream house or making the first million. Or avoiding the painful disruption of this adoptive family. 
Faith says, “Whether God handles me tenderly or gives me over to misery, I love him. He is my reward (11:6), the builder of the city I long for (11:10), the treasure beyond the riches of Egypt (11:26), and the possession that surpasses all others and abides for ever (10:34)." 
The great challenge of adoption and orphan care ministry is to cultivate a death-defying passion for God above all things. A faith that rests in him whether living or dying, whether comfortable or miserable, whether successful in our orphan care or not. Our aim is to cultivate and spread the unshakable confidence that God is better than what life can give us and what death can take from us.