1. Relinquish Control

Let’s be honest.

We could put our heads together and come up with a lifelong devotional series dedicated entirely to the topic of control. In fact the very first sin that entered the world, eating from the tree of knowledge, was born out of a desire to “be more like God” (Gen. 3:5). Like Eve, the desire for control is embedded into the very strands of our DNA, and nothing brings this sin nature to light more than a situation in which control is held just beyond our grasp—close enough to pine after and fixate on, but far enough away for us to mourn for, knowing there is nothing we can do to attain it.

The inspiration for today’s devotion came from a phone call with my agency worker, Darlene. I called her several days ago to see if there were any updates on Desi and to ask whether I should continue to expect updates as we go through the next ten months of waiting.

But she understood what I really wanted to know, because these are the answers all waiting parents long to hear: Is my child doing okay? Can he roll over yet? How tall is he? What is his favorite color? Is he ticklish? Did the fever you mentioned in the last medical report ever go down? Is his development on track? Is he showing any signs of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome? Has his birth mother contacted the agency to inquire about him? Is he attaching well to the foster family? Does he sleep well at night? Does he show any signs of an attachment disorder? Do his caretakers check on him often?

I’m sure these are some of the questions you may have considered as well.

The powerlessness we feel during The Wait is a constant battle to either gain control by any means necessary, often leading to anxiety or depression, or submit this need for control to the waiting hands of God. What I have found is this is not just a daily battle but a fight I must be prepared for on a moment-by-moment basis. When I see a mother caring for her crying baby and wonder if someone is there to comfort my child, I have to submit. When I see celebratory pictures of a baby’s firsts that I know I won’t experience with my child, I have to submit. When I hear of another couple’s adoption failing or hitting a road block and my first instinct is to crawl under my bed and never come out again, I have to submit. In every moment, we have to be prepared to submit, because we, like Eve, are not designed to hold the weight of such burdens on our hearts.

Proverbs 4:23 advises us to guard our hearts above all else because each of our actions are determined by their condition. In order to avoid living embittered, fragile, demanding lives, we have to surrender our fears, our questions, and even more importantly, our children, into the willing, capable hands of our almighty God. In tough moments when our deepest desire is to “do” something to give ourselves some façade that we are in control, our greatest act of worship is just to sit, be still, and remember who our God really is.

Verses to Consider:

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. -PSALM 51:12

But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.   –PSALM 10:14

Be still and know that I am God.   –PSALM 46:10

A Prayer for Your Day:

God, you know my greatest desire is to hop on a plane right now and go to [baby’s name]. My heart aches and drives me to action, even though there is so little I can do for [him/her] at this time. I pray that you would remind me daily that you are working on behalf of this little one even when I can’t see it and that this plan was put into motion long before I was made aware of it (Eph. 1). Thank you for entrusting me with the gift of being this child’s parent. It is a gift I don’t deserve but you are a good father who receives so much joy when I find joy in you. Help me to be confident and remember that you began this good work and you will bring it to completion in your timing (Phil. 1:6), even if your timing is slower than I would like. When I am impatient, remind me to be still and remember what a powerful, almighty, all-seeing, and caring God you really are.

In Jesus’s name,

Amen.

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