Those seven words are tied to some of the strangest “encouragement” people adopting will ever hear. At least it is intended to be encouraging. I don’t know how often Kristen and I have heard it said, “You know what will happen as soon as you guys adopt? You’re going to get pregnant!” My follow up this go-round is usually… “That’s odd, it didn’t happen last time.” You will have to forgive me if that seems a bit sarcastic and mean spirited to respond that way, I am working on being more gentle. The truth is, I don’t know what is going to happen. God could very well choose to grant us the gift of biological children if He sees fit. Yet as of August 15, 2020, He has not chosen to go that route. I want to be very clear that adoption for us has never been primarily about our inability to conceive; it has been about our desire to be parents and God’s desire to care for the orphan.
I was talking to a friend of mine this week that is struggling through infertility with his wife. The Lord brings him and his wife to my mind frequently, and I pray for them when that happens. Their journey looks different than ours, yet the pain is all too familiar. From our own experience, infertility and the process of adoption is a breeding ground for emotionalism. What I mean by that is those circumstances can cause us to place too high a value on how we feel and little to no value on what we know to be true. Emotions are powerful influencers towards wrong thinking. If we are not careful, we will fall into thinking that God isn’t for us, because He isn’t answering our prayers in the way we want them answered. I don’t know how to be clearer than to say, when we rely on how we feel, it can be damning to our spiritual growth.
Maybe you can relate to that thought process? The idea that “God isn’t for you” because your life doesn’t look as perfect as you thought it would. Maybe you are experiencing something you never thought you would have to go through, and no matter how hard you pray, it doesn’t seem to be changing. I’ve been there, myself. You should know, those feelings don’t make you weird, they make you human. Did you catch that? It makes you human. Humans were created with emotions. Yet our emotions were not meant to rule over us. Instead, our emotions should be ruled over and guided by truth.
Psalm 106:11 “But they soon forgot his works; they did not wait for his counsel.”
The entire story of God and His people can be encapsulated in two words; “RESCUE” & “REBELLION.” God rescues His people, His people forget His faithfulness, and they rebel. We don’t need to look any further than God rescuing the Israelites out of Egypt (Exodus 14-33) to see what our tendency towards emotionalism gets us. God rescues His people from slavery through miraculous means (plagues, parting the red sea, defeating Pharaoh and his army). His people saw His goodness, His faithfulness, His grace, and His salvation out of slavery. Soon after they would grow weary of waiting on The Lord, unsure of when they would hear from Him again and fearing that He had abandoned them, they desired to return to slavery rather than die in the wilderness. They crafted a god to be worshiped in the image of a calf and exchanged the truth of God and His salvation for images of hoofed animals that eat grass, feeling as though that would be better. Their emotions led them to a place of wandering in the desert for years and worshipping the wrong things. It isn’t hard to imagine that they wondered day after day what their future looked like, yet God reminded them every day He was faithful to His Word. They could have questioned Him all day long based on how they “felt,” yet the guiding truth was that God was their provider and had provided salvation out of Egypt and all they needed to thrive in the wilderness, they needed only to believe Him at His Word.
The truth of the matter is, none of us know what is going to happen when it comes to the future. Left to a faith that is fueled by emotionalism, we will be prone to wander. Thanks be to God that unlike us, He is not human. He is HOLY, and He is faithful to His people even when His people are not faithful to Him. That truth should reign in our hearts and minds and guide us through our seasons of uncertainty. We were created, emotional people. May our emotions be ruled by the truth.
Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.