The Great Unknown

wagi 2I woke to see this quote this morning on my Facebook feed.

“Christians outnumber orphans 15 to 1. All we need to do is have 1 out of every 15 Christians adopt, and the other 14 come alongside and help. I believe we can actually do this.” – Pastor Randy Frazee.

At first read it sounds like a simple solution to the orphan crisis. Assuming Randy’s statistics are correct, if 1 out of 15 Christians adopt we can address the orphan crisis in one full swoop. I agree with Randy that Christians need to rise up to address the injustice of children left helpless not only because they are without birth parents but because they remain without any parents willing to care for them. If the answer to the problem is so simple, why don’t 1 in 15 Christians rise up to meet this need and eradicate the orphan crisis? I do not profess to have all the answers, but I do suspect that there is one reaction that hinders a response to the orphan cry. Though adoption is the easy answer, it is the hard solution.

Don’t get me wrong. I agree with Randy. Christians must respond to the cry of the orphan for a place to belong, a place to be protected and a place to be connected. But there is one reason NOT to adopt.

There is a cost.

It will cost you everything.

And if you have adopted you know what I am talking about.

Jesus did not say in this world, I will send you to do easy work. He said, In this world you will have trouble.

So why are we surprised when the process to make an adoption happen is costly? Why are we deterred when the road is not easy? Why do we stop trying when the path is blocked by hindrances? Why do we doubt that the mountain ahead of us can be traversed if we but keep our eyes on our guide?  And why do we quit before we begin?

Let that sit for a moment in your mind. What is it that makes the call to adoption possible? Is it our money? Is it our time? Is it space in our home? Is it our desire? Or is it merely our willingness to go to a place that is HARD?

I have always treasured the story of Peter walking on the water. Peter was my kind of guy. He was a bit of a hot head. (I can relate). He was a regular guy. A fisherman. Nothing special in the world’s eyes. But Peter had faith. He had the kind of faith that took him to unknown places without suitcase or a credit card. Peter followed Christ wherever he went, even out of the boat and on to the water.

Peter did not follow Jesus in the water; he followed Jesus on the water. It was an experience that defied gravity and made history. Take a look.

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

“Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” (Matthew 14:22-33).

I do not get the feeling that Peter sat in the boat when he saw Jesus coming and thought about the impossibility of what he was about to do. It does not sound like he spent much time contemplating all the reasons he should not climb over the edge. He saw Jesus and simply asked, Lord if it is you tell me to come.

Tell. Me. To. Come.

How many of us are asking this of the Lord? Tell me to come Lord and I’ll get out of my boat— my safe, comfortable, spot and I’ll head towards the impossible. All because I have faith that you are the creator of the universe, and surely you can bring me to the place you have called me to.

That seems like a crazy idea to me, but Peter’s account is there to point us toward out of the boat experiences. Sometimes our call to follow Christ makes no earthly sense! I can relate. When we were called to adoption we were in the midst of a financial crisis, contemplating selling our house and closing our business. The pursuit of adoption defied our reality, but Jesus clearly called us to a place of trust without borders. Adoption is a calling to walk upon the great unknown, defying gravity by the One who created it. It will not make sense. It will not be easy, but Jesus makes it possible, to do the impossible. When it comes to the hindrances that keep us from following Him, it really does not matter how contrary the obstacles it only matters that we follow. You see we can spend hours debating why the adoption process should be shorter, simpler and less expensive. We can talk all day about how many obstacles we have in our lives that prevent us from the pursuit. We can excuse ourselves with our ‘if only’ scenarios, or we can fast and pray and listen for God’s call. If he says come, we need only fix our eyes on Him and go.

What about you? Have you been called to help those who have adopted? Or have you been called to climb out of your boat and be 1 in 15? Either way, I can promise you it will not be easy and more likely hard, but if you focus on the impossible you will never leave your comfortable spot. Look up. Keep your eyes fixed and your faith will take you the great unknown!

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Tiffany Barber

Tiffany is a wife to Kirk and mother of eight including six biological and two newly adopted from China. With a looming financial crisis at the outset of their recent adoption, God took their family on a journey of faith. Having been home just over ten weeks, they are currently working through the transition phase of their new adoption. Tiffany writes an honest account of challenges of adoption and the redemptive work of her savior Jesus Christ at Extravagant Love. Though her faith and limits have been tested, she points that adoption is paving the way for her to grow and experience God’s presence as never before.