So many of you have been praying with us that God would move mountains in our situation and allow us to bring Alethia home. You’ve seen our tweets, facebook updates, etc. asking for a miracle. But, in a case like this, discussions and questions about God’s sovereignty always seem to arise. The question was posed to me last night over dinner, “How does God’s sovereignty play into this? What if He doesn’t allow you to bring her home?” And I think that’s a really fair question. What if it was God’s will all along for us simply to endure this as a means of growth or brokenness or for some other reason that we may not understand? What if we don’t know the full reason until years from now? As hard as these questions are to wrestle with, I think it’s healthy. My brother, Jacob, was posed this same question by a friend on facebook. He was basically asking how we know that it really is the will of God for us to bring Alethia home. I thought his response was worthy of a blog post.
I appreciate your questions and concern. When we’re trying to discern what the will of God is, we have to first look at the bigger picture. We have to look at the character of God and his sovereign will (His general will). We believe God has a heart for adoption. Scripture encourages us to care for the widows and orphans. Spiritually, we were all once orphans and God adopted us into his family. When called by God, why would we not respond by doing for someone else what he has already done for us? So biblically speaking, it’s God’s will for orphans to be adopted. It’s a beautiful picture of the Gospel. But it seems that your question is about God’s will in this specific situation. In actuality we don’t KNOW that it’s God’s will. But we do know that God has guided their steps to adopt this girl for the last 3 years. He has allowed everything to fall into place. So could it be that God would bring them this far only to tell them that they can never bring this girl into their family? Yes, that’s possible. We don’t KNOW what God is doing. The bottom line is that we should desire whatever is going to bring the most glory to God. Will it bring God glory to see a father fighting for this 3 year old girl that he loves. Moving his family to Africa, and putting everything on the line, just to save this girl from a life of aids and poverty? To finally see him bring his daughter home after so much difficulty? Yes, this could bring God much glory. However, it could also bring glory to God to see a family fail at adopting this girl and still praising God for His faithfulness and sovereignty. Yes, that could also bring God much glory. So when we pray, we pray for God’s heart to be our heart. For God’s desire to be our desire. And we ask that bringing home this poverty-stricken lonely orphan would be what gives HIM THE MOST GLORY. We hope that is what the will of God is. So you’re correct in stating that people cannot say for absolute certainly that this is God’s will. It could be possible that this girl will never be adopted, and left to grow up in an African orphanage until she turns 18. It’s easy for me to say that we will rejoice in God’s faithfulness no matter what the outcome is. I hope that will be true. I pray that God will prepare us for that day.
Jacob, that’s my prayer too–that God will prepare me and Tasha for that day, whatever that day looks like. And at the end of the day, I pray that I will be able to have an attitude of gratefulness that God deemed us worthy to bear this, believing unshakingly that His faithfulness never wavers and that He will never give us more than we can handle.