Friday, October 29, 2010

The Waiting Game.

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
--Psalm 130:5

"How long must I wait?" The Psalmist asks. I love the honesty of his question. So many verses give accounts of waiting on the Lord as if it is a delight, a joy, a comfortable thing. Not for me.

I am like the guy who whines "how long must I wait!" (Ps.19:84).

And so we wait for our adoption of Levi to go through. Letters come stating we have reached the next phase, but it's all a game of waiting on a faceless bureaucracy to bring that precious face home.

Waiting is a concept that saturates the Bible. That does not make me like it any better. I am not good at it and I do not want any more practice.

But I do not have a choice.

I must wait.

But while a great deal of biblical waiting has to do with our call to wait on the Lord. The fact is that God does a great deal of waiting on us.

Unlike many missionaries, God does not typically hit people over the head with Himself. He woos and waits. He reveals aspects of Himself in unexpected ways and waits. He grants us glimpses of His love and light and waits and waits and waits for us to respond.

But we, frail and fractious creatures that we are, know what we want and we want it now! Sad thing is that we apply it to our spiritual life.

William Carey noted it in his time.

“The temper of our times is for instant gratification and short-term commitment—quick answers to prayer and quick results with a minimum of effort and discomfort.” Yep, that's me. And I know it's ugly.

So God is making me wait. And slowly I am learning to wait. But I am still not good at it. May I learn in this time of waiting that like our adoption, the conversion of one into God's family is also a process that takes time. And it is God's process not mine to manufacture. Carey said it best:

“There is no such thing as easy and instant discipleship,” Carey explains. “One can commence a walk of discipleship in a moment, but the first step must lengthen into a life-long walk.”

And so as I wait, I hope to learn to love well and in doing so discover a bit more about what a genuine patient passion for souls is all about. For Oswald Chambers rightly warns against the impatient evangelist -- he who is not willing to wait on God's work:

‎"Remember that there is a passion for souls that does not come from God, but from our desire to make converts to our point of view."

God help us in our poorly practiced discipline of simple waiting.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Miracle of Miracles!

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.--Proverbs 13:12

Wonder of Wonder
Miracle of Miracles ...

The old song from the classic musical "Fiddler of the Roof" echoed through my head a couple weeks ago when we received the phone call. Although the psychologist listed her litany of objections to the adoption, in her final analysis, she decide to give lukewarm approval to our request to adopt Levi.

Of course our paperwork must still meander through the maze of bureaucracy before Levi will be ours for keeps. But now, that tree of life has sprouted and as we bring him home for visits each weekend, we know it is all a waiting game.

But waiting is a normal part of the Christian life -- so much so, it's a wonder we all aren't better at it. "But they that wait on the Lord shall renew your strength."How many times do we quote that?

Still, Russ and I watch the calendar, speculating on whether the postal service has gotten our paperwork to the next office yet.
We wait and watch the mail for the next fateful letter that will tell us we've reached the next step in the process that will bring us our son.

Meanwhile Levi remains at the orphanage during the week, going to school each day wondering where he really belongs. Is the orphanage his home? Is the Chun house his home? The answer is yes to both right now, as we are all a family in transition.

But perhaps for him, it feels more like being just a person in transition. For the first time in his life, he is experiencing something different than his siblings. And although some have already experienced adoption and others are in the process too, his experience is unique.
He is being adopted by people who speak English -- Americans to boot!
It's a crazy world in which we live. It's an imaginitive God who could take seven siblings and find them all homes within a year -- with parents determined to keep all the kids in touch. It is indeed a wonder of wonder and miracle of miracles. And it's one worth waiting for.

And so we wait, no longer with hope deferred, but with hope renewed. Now we await the emergence of that tree of life on that coming day when the longing is fulfilled and the Chun family of five comes into its completion.