This morning in my devotion time, I began reading Matthew 19 starting in verse 16. It's the story that so many of us have heard about the "rich young ruler". The young man tells Jesus he has kept every commandment and wants to know what else he has to do to go to Heaven. Jesus tells him to sell all he has and give to the poor. The young man goes away from Jesus very sad . . . because he is rich.
And his money was a stronghold. An idol.
And we all have strongholds, don't we? Things that have to be pried from our clenched fists if we are to live truly radical lives for the sake of the gospel.
This notion weighs heavily on me when I think about FUNDRAISING for an adoption. We did it. We would do it again. We had yard sales, plant sales, raffles, restaurants willing to give us a percentage of their earnings on a given day if we get scads of our friends to come and eat there . . . we benefited MIGHTILY from our fund raisers and we would do them again if God called us to adopt another child - we would have to !
We also received unsolicited donations from family and friends in varying amounts. We were often blown away during our adoptions by a knock at the door or a trip to the mailbox that yielded hundreds - once THOUSANDS -of dollars coming into our waiting hands. Oh, how blessed we have been by the body of Christ! How lavished in love and doted upon by those we serve with or even those we know casually. When God moved hearts for our adoption, He used a bulldozer and a crane!
It was so humbling for us. Just thinking of it makes my eyes brim with tears. People who have bills to pay, children to raise, cars to repair and groceries to buy gave money to our family to bring a child from another land, whom they had never met, into our home. God stuff!
But we also had to work and sacrifice to bring our angels home. THIS is where I step onto thin ice and probably a few toes.
I see hopeful adoptive families posting one fund raising idea after another and most involve raffling off items that were donated to them for free. I think this can be a GOOD THING, but not always.
Let me ask you, adoptive family, how FAR are you willing to go to bring that precious child home?
Are you willing to . . . .
sell one vehicle and share with your spouse?
take little Johnny and Suzie out of karate, piano or private school for a short time?
eat ramen noodles and stay away from all restaurants for awhile?
make your coffee at home?
sell those purses, extra tools, stereo equipment or electronic gadgets?
cut off your cable or dish and use those pesky rabbit ears for a few months?
take on a babysitting job or deliver pizzas at night?
use the parks and the library for entertainment rather than the movie theater and mall?
How many have turned away from this list sad . . . or angry? How many are thinking things like "MY kids shouldn't have to sacrifice and suffer for the calling of their parents?" Or "the church needs to step up and care for orphans and widows?" . I think it. It's true.
Well isn't that orphan YOUR kid, too? Or he less important than the well-loved, adored, nurtured children that came from your own womb?
No, he isn't. He is equal even now.
We say we, as Followers of Christ, want to be radical. Start now! Live so simply that you can stand faultless before the Lord during your adoption process and say, as David did when offered a free animal to sacrifice . . .
"I will not offer to the Lord my God that which cost me nothing" Samuel 24:24
Please, continue to fund raise, online raffle, send support letters to fellow Believers . . . those are all GOOD things and profitable in many ways.
But never discount that God may be calling you to "give it all" ... dig deeper . . . sacrifice more . . .
turn those pockets inside out for that missing family member.
And I can assure you, Johnny and Susie will be fine. Their character over their immediate gratification . . . holiness over happiness . . . but sometimes you can have both.
Just watch and see!
And fire up the pot . . . break out the ramen . . . and count it all joy.
SO VERY WORTH IT . . .