Sunday, November 27, 2016

Waiting on the God Who Acts

I was washing dishes, and Grace was practicing her Bible verses for class.

She rattled off Isaiah 64:4:  Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.

And tears sprang to my eyes.

Suddenly I was taken back to ten years ago.  Gil and I had been through a miscarriage and two failed adoption attempts.  We were desperate to be parents.  We had been matched with Grace in May of 2006, and we had flown up to Northern Tanzania in June to meet her.  At that point, we thought it would be just a matter of days before we would be able to bring her home.

But the days stretched into weeks which stretched into months.  I flew up to Moshi three more times to try to get things moving.  We believed the problem was with an evil social worker who was preventing the adoption, but now that I understand more about Tanzanian culture and how adoption works here, I know that the delay had just as much to do with the mistakes of the orphanage.

We were asked if we wanted to just give up on this baby and choose another.  But we were committed to the child who would become Grace Medina.  As long as it took.

All of our adoptions have had snags and disappointments, but the months of waiting for Grace were the hardest.  I wasn't just waiting for another child, I was waiting to become a mother.  I closed the door of her half-decorated nursery and couldn't bring myself to go in.

One day in late October, I was asked to substitute teach for fifth grade at HOPAC at the last minute.  I quickly scanned over lesson plans as the kids came into the room.  The first lesson of the day was in Bible.  And it was on Isaiah 64:4.

I remember very clearly that as the students and I discussed the implications of God's sovereignty in waiting patiently for Him to act, that I felt like I was talking to myself as the words came out of my mouth.  I was waiting for Him, and He would act.  I could have that confidence. I left the classroom that day with a new perspective.

Just two days later, we received the letter that allowed us to go pick up Grace.  And that beautiful promise was ingrained on my heart.

In the ten years since then, the Bible curriculum at HOPAC has not changed.  So when Grace--now in fifth grade and almost 11 years old--stood in my kitchen and recited the verse that quite literally is entwined in her story, it was a holy moment.

That night, I told Grace this story of that verse.  I did wait on Him.  And He did act.  And no one has ever seen or heard of a God like Him.

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