Friday, October 23, 2009

Today's manifesto on faith and obedience

I've already told you about my art sale to raise money for our adoption. I was so excited about this art sale, because it incoporates something I love to do with something I believe in, with a need that I have, and the ability to bless others. Win-win-win-win all around.

As I started the sale, I had to aknowledge a twinge of caution in my mind - a memory of some confusing policy with my company. I tried to write it off, because everyone I talked to thought this art sale thing made sense. But, I wanted to be sure, so I put a call into our company just to check. I never heard back, so I went ahead with things.

Well, it turns out that due to all kinds of confusing IRS rules and policies regarding where we work (I won't bore you with the details), I can't have a fundraiser of any kind for our adoption.

I found out yesterday, and I've spent a lot of time crying between then and now.

I am so extremely disappointed because adoptions cost A LOT of money. A lot a lot. I was super excited about my idea, and there had been a good amount of interest in it. I just want to be able to DO something to help out. And, not to sound like a 6-year-old, but, everyone else is doing it (creatively raising money for their adoptions).

So, here - in the midst of my tears - is where I need to remind myself of the truth of what I believe.
  1. I do not follow rules because it makes me a good person. I follow rules because obedience demonstrates my faith in God - His sovereignty over the barriers that men create, His love for me, and His ability to do amazing things in unlikely scenarios.
  2. I believe that when I choose to trust God by doing things His way (with integrity, selflessness and submission), He will honor that.
  3. Obedience trumps the worst case scenario. I got that priceless truth from someone whose worst-case scenario is much harder than mine, and I am making it my new mantra.
  4. Even in the worst case scenario (in this instance, that an adoption wipes out our savings account), obedience (in this instance, obeying God's command that we take care of orphans) is worth it. 
  5. I would give up every cent I have for my kids - especially to feed them, house them, and make sure they didn't die without knowing their incredible worth.
You know, the thing about my faith is this: Getting right with God is easy. He does all the work for that, and offers salvation as a free gift to anyone who will accept it. Obeying God (which is how I demonstrate my belief) is so incredibly hard. Everything He asks me to do is hard, because everything he asks me to do goes against everything that makes sense in my head.

It makes sense to protect myself, but God asks me to sacrifice myself. It makes sense to fight for my rights, but God asks me to turn the other cheek. It makes sense to stand up for myself, but God asks me to lay down my self and stand up for those who have no voice. It makes sense to seek comfort, but the peace of God is found in the heart of darkness. It makes sense to find a way around the rules that hold me back, but God asks me to submit - to everyone, always. It makes sense to build wealth, but God asks me to give it all away.

So, the bottom line is that I have no art sale fundraiser. But I have a large amount of faith. Scratch that. I have a minuscule, insufficient amount of faith in a very big God. And today? Today I am believing God by giving up my plans, and waiting for Him to act. And telling Him that if He chooses not to, obedience will still be worth it.

And the wonderful irony of my faith is this: it is in the difficulty of obedience that I always find love, joy, and peace.

(OK, so parts of that were vague and confusing. If you have any questions about the whys and why-nots and how someone could still help with adoption expenses, just email me and I'll try to explain as best as I understand.)


Dad said...

We don't know where obedience will lead us either, Sus, but please know we are also committed to give ourselves to you and the other kids to assist you in your desire and commitment to honor God through loving kids the way He so graciously seeks to love each of us. We love you dearly! We love Him in whom you have given your trust even more! Jesus, glorify your name, glorify your name, glorify your name in all the earth!

Heather said...

Great post! I know for sure God honors your obedience and also your faith! Looking forward to hear how He works in this situation! Be encouraged!

Naomi said...

It's sometimes hard to admit that our faith is small ...but in that realization and acceptance can sometimes come a flood of reward for our obedience! I'm sorry your plans were turned upside down :(

Praying for Cros said...

Susie...we ran into some of this during Crosby's Chemo....our church wanted to give US money & not through our company's policies...Bret even talked to Ellis about it...and we also decided to say no to the way they wanted to do it & Yes to God & our companies was hard & faith stretching BUT God does IS worth it!!!! We are still trusting & learning this even now! HUGS!!!! He IS in Control & WILL work out the details of bringing your precious child HOME to you!!!

Alison McLennan said...

Thank you for the inspiring thoughts! It's such a blessing to witness your submission and trust through this trial. I sincerely believe God will bless your obedience!