I have to admit something to you this morning. After working on this devotion for ten days straight, I went to bed last night and asked myself, “30 days…what was I thinking?” I even went so far as to have a good friend of mine promise me that if I ever committed to writing 30 days of writing anything again she would intervene. I love writing, and I love how the past ten days have shown more fruit than I anticipated, but this is such a clear example of how my mind works.
Below is a typical progression of thoughts I have whenever I undertake a new project:
- (While skimming Pinterest) I need a project.
- I can totally do this! There is literally nothing wrong about this plan.
- Everything is wrong about this plan…
- Matt, do you think this is a good idea? No? Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
- Whatever, I’m doing it!
- Hey, this is going really well!
- Oops! That wasn’t supposed to happen.
- Hey, this is getting really __________ (insert “expensive”, “time-consuming,” all consuming,” “soul-crushing,” etc.)
- Matt, why didn’t you talk me out of this?
- What…in the world…was I thinking…
These thoughts are predictable and so represent the constant tension between my idealist and realist natures. For some reason, God gave me both of these affinities, which is great because the projects always get done and are turn out better than expected, but they also carve a significant number of years off of my life. I will never bite off more than I can chew, but I will come really close! Again, this can be both strength and weakness depending on how necessary I see the project to be at the time. But the result is always worth it in the end.
There have definitely been moments in this adoption where I have stopped, looked down the mountain to see how far I’ve come, looked up the mountain to see how much farther I have to climb, and thought, “How did I get here? What in the world have I gotten myself into?” This in no way implies that I regret climbing the mountain in the first place, it just means I’ve hit thought progression number 10 and need to sit down a minute to get my bearings.
It is difficult to commit to a long and grueling task where it takes years to see the fruit or results of your labor. When you began your adoption you knew it would take a long time, but the calling drove you on through the home study and dossier. To be honest, you were probably so busy during this stage you hardly had time to consider how much longer you had to wait. And then The Wait began, and you, like me, probably found yourself twiddling your thumbs, afraid to look at a clock or calendar because you don’t want to see how little time has passed since the last time you checked. You sort of put your mind on autopilot, and filled out the forms they wanted you to file, signed the checks they wanted you to sign, and smiled politely as everyone around you asked the question, “How much longer until he/she comes home?” knowing full well the only answer worth giving was, “Too long.”
It’s in times like these that I like to remember that I am a work in progress with the Lord as well, and I’m so grateful that through the process of my growth and development that God hasn’t thrown up his hands and thought, “What was I thinking?” It took quite a bit of work, time and energy for me to be adopted into His kingdom, but I am so grateful he saw me and thought, “She is worth it.” Perhaps that’s what you need to hear this morning—that you, my friend, are so worth it.
Psalm 92:12 says that “the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.” And these are not the cedar hedges you plant to keep your neighbors out of sight, these are massive trees found in the Mediterranean which grow to be 140 feet tall. And do you know how long it takes for a tree to reach 140 feet? A really, really, really long time.
We may not get see progress in our adoptions, just as we may not see progress in our own personal growth and development. Sometimes there are seasons where growth is so slow it is impossible to decipher. But trust that growth is happening, however slow it may be, and remember that God’s greatest project is you, and he is far from giving up on you yet.
Verses to Consider:
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. -2 CORINTHIANS 3:18
Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. -1 CORINTHIANS 9:24-27
It is like a mustard seed planted in the ground. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of all garden plants. –MARK 4:30-32
A Prayer for Your Day:
Lord, sometimes I wake up in both awe and fear of where a life following after you can lead. Sometimes I look back at all the times that you provided and think to myself, “What if that hadn’t worked out?” The stakes are so high in this adoption, and although I know you called me to it, sometimes I have moments of unbelief and doubt that it will ever come to pass. Lord, help my unbelief (Mark 9:24)! My prayer to you is so simple today—help my unbelief! When I look at the calendar and think I can’t wait another day, call me back to you. Remind me that you waited all of eternity to call me your own, and that I am certainly a work in progress. Your word says that if I abide in you, whatever I ask will come to pass (John 15:7). I ask that I would never lose sight of the enormous lengths you took to claim me as your [son/daughter], and that I would have the same patience you have as I take enormous lengths to claim [child’s name] as my [son/daughter].
In Jesus’ name,