January 2, 2015
Back in our younger years Scott and I were determined to adopt. I use the word “determined” because it is not an easy process, nor is it affordable by any means. We were living in a church’s manse as part of Scott’s compensation package. We had sold our first house and put the earnings in a savings account. Most people probably would have kept that money to buy a future house, and wisely so. Not us, we were going to adopt.
Soon after accepting an adoption referral, Scott started a new job at a new church and so now we really needed to buy a house. With our adoption paid for and our savings account empty, we chose a 100 year old twin in the borough. It was covered in ancient wallpaper. It had one bathtub, one non-working toilet and no shower. The kitchen consisted of a rusty metal cabinet with a sink on top. I look back and I can’t imagine what our parents were thinking, they were incredibly gracious to even step foot into our squirrel infested “home.”
Anyway, high on love and fueled by dreams of meeting our new son, Scott and I took turns every night after the girls went to bed to go to the new house and scrape the wallpaper off the walls. We had a margin of time where our old church would let us stay in the manse until our new house was ready, and we were going to need every day of their grace.
I clearly remember being there alone one night with my trusty scraper in hand. I started praying out loud for people to come help us. By faith I was thanking God for the people He would provide. In the moment I was imaging willing teenagers and maybe their merciful parents, maybe a team from the youth group who would be willing to help us on a Saturday afternoon.
About a month into our project a kind Christian business owner stopped by the house and asked me if I would give him a tour. I bounced through the house describing to him how I was going to use Rubbermaid shelving in the kitchen in place of cabinets, and how maybe if I poked a hole above the tub I could install a shower head. I can’t imagine what he was thinking either.
After amusing my construction ideas, he thoughtfully explained that he wanted to take on our house as his project, that he would have his men build a proper kitchen, a working bathroom and bedroom closets. He would even skim all of the walls to make them new and paintable again. He said his only condition was we had to stay out of their way. So much for my Rubbermaid infrastructure!
I cry every time I think of this story. I was praying for teenagers who were willing to help between bites of free pizza, and the Lord took my prayers and gave us a seasoned contractor with a big team of men and an even bigger heart.
Right after I posted Merry Christmas we all came down with the flu. Well, nine of us, to be exact. Theodore spent all of Christmas Eve at CHOP on IV fluids and medicines so he could be home with us in time for Christmas Day. Five of us caught it in time to start Tamiflu. It took us 5 days to open all of our Christmas presents in between naps. After 8 days of flu symptoms Tim came down with a head cold, but then broke out in mysterious red itchy spots on New Year’s Eve. Seriously? Today Theo spent the day at CHOP starting Phase 3 of his chemo plan.
I share that old house story because I find myself in a season where I’m trusting God will move, but I just don’t see it yet. I am praying for health for my family, but I don’t see it today. Sometimes it’s helpful to look back and remember how God provided for us in the past, to help spur us on toward the future. And sometimes I have to remind myself who I’m praying to…
I was sitting in front of the fireplace last week and the Lord brought to mind the story of Moses and the burning bush. Do you realize that the God we pray to, the God we can relate to and spend time with, He is the same God that spoke to Moses on that day? The God of the Old Testament, the Lord Jesus Christ of the New Testament, and the Holy Spirit of the Day of Pentecost, those are the three individuals who hear us when we pray? Do we really pray like we have their attention?
I will continue to pray for my family, I will pray for strong health, I will pray for Theo’s healing. I will pray like I’m praying to the God of Moses, because I am.
Exodus Chapter 3
Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”
When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
And Moses said, “Here I am.”
“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.
The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”
But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
And God said, “I will be with you.”