Today, we welcome Jennifer L. Lane to the table to share with us what she has been learning about our Heavenly Father through her family’s experience with international adoption. May you be blessed:
Adoption – How the Good Gift of Adoption Reveals the Goodness of Our Heavenly Father
Five years ago, God called our family to international adoption. After years of waiting, we finally traveled to Ethiopia in March for our court date. Our brand new two-year-old has been home for four months now, and God is teaching me things about His character as a good Father through this experience of having a new son.
Here are three things I have learned about God from our adoption:
1. God sees the heart, but I can’t.
The first thing I noticed about our boy when we first met him were all the little details about his hands and feet. I took off his shoes, looked at his toes, and said the rhyme about little piggies going to the market. I still love looking at his sweet little feet and marveling at how the coloring of his skin blends from dark brown on the tops of his feet to light brown on the bottoms of his feet.
As we spent more time with our son, we were hungry to know him, and we took in every detail of how he acted and reacted to our surroundings. I’ve learned a little about his thoughts and feelings.
It’s impossible for us, as humans, not notice outer things that are seen. We see physical differences. We are not colorblind. But we’re told in the Bible that God sees the heart, and as much as I would love to see my new son‘s heart and know his desires, I can’t. It’s going to take time for me to get to know him. I’m so thankful that the God that knows our son all the way to the bottom of his heart saw fit to put him in our family.
2. God the Father is patient.
After four months, our son has started to feel safe enough in our home to begin acting out and throwing fits. He is very stubborn, and calming him down can take a long time. I have to be very patient with him. The fact that I love him so much makes being patient with him a little easier, but my flesh doesn’t want to be patient.
God is even more patient than I can ever imagine. If you don’t think so, just read Hosea. I may not kick and scream when I throw fits, but I definitely want my way very often. More than I’d like to admit, my attitude towards God is exactly like a tired, acting-out toddler. I can see more clearly how deep God‘s love is for me is when I see how patient He is with me. I often push away the truth of how deeply I am loved by Him.
When I am hurting and need rest, He leads me there. When I feel pressed or frustrated, He restores my soul. He is patient because of His great love for me.
3. God sees the biggest picture.
When we brought our son home on the airplane, everything, from the airport to things we did today, was new and different to him. There were things we couldn’t explain to him because of a language barrier and his capacity for understanding what was going on. Walking into our new home, late at night after traveling for a whole day, he couldn’t have known how much the big brother he was meeting loved him and would be good to him. I don’t know if he understood that this house we were walking into was his new home and that he was going to be in our family for the rest of his life.
There were so many things I wish that I could explain to him, but it was impossible. I know that God has more knowledge than I can ever comprehend about me, my life, my future, his plans for me, and how good those plans are. I can imagine that God would love to explain so many of these things to me, but it’s impossible for God to do so. It would not be good for me to know everything at once, and James 1:17 tells us that our Father only gives good gifts.
I want to be a good parent to our son. How much more does God want to be a good parent to me? God is holy, strong, and worthy. He doesn’t just want to be a good Father. He is a good Father.
“Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” — Matthew 7:9-11 ESV
This is Jennifer and Hezekiah’s (her adopted son’s) favorite song at the moment and we pray it blesses you too:
Jennifer L. Lane is a writer, podcaster, and mom with a missionary heart. She has blogged at jenniferllane.com for four years, not shying away from difficult subjects. Jennifer is passionate about the Great Commission, loving her husband, and loving her four great kids. She resides in Amarillo, Texas, where her husband James serves as minister of media at Citychurch. Visit http://www.jenniferllane.com/free to download free printables and a free 15-day devotional.