Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wherever He Pleases

“The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.”

I like to be in control. I like to know what’s going to happen and when it will happen and when that is settled I don’t want anything to change.

Never been a spontaneous person. That’s part of my personality. But ultimately, I’ve discovered, I just don’t want to depend on God. What a shocking revelation. But it has to be true.

We have been trying to go on Home Assignment for over 8 months now. We thought that by pushing it back to October, we would be allowing ourselves plenty of time. And even when it looked impossible, Josiah’s adoption was finalized in July. Great! I thought. We’re on schedule. And in control.

Then the judge sat with the adoption order on her desk, ready to be signed, for six weeks. Yep, all it needed was a signature. For six weeks. In faith we bought our plane tickets for October 6th. And we prayed.

Last week, we finally got the signature. I turned right around the next day and put in the application for Josiah’s Tanzanian passport. Sigh of relief. We should be good now, I thought. Back in control.

Knowing I would need to get Josiah a U.S. visa as soon as I get the passport, I wrote an email to the U.S. embassy in Dar, asking them a couple questions in advance. Yesterday I got an email answering those questions, along with the following statement: “You should not feel, however, that a visa is guaranteed.”

Splash of cold water in the face. Of course, I already knew that happy little fact; I just didn’t want to think about it. There is nothing that forces a consular officer to grant a visa to anyone. He is allowed to deny visa applications even on a hunch, if he wants to. Great. Thanks for the reminder that I don’t even have control over whether I (a U.S. citizen) will be allowed to bring my adopted son into the United States.

I am not in control. And I hate that feeling. I want to plan; I want to know; I want to be sure. I want to be in control. So I must come to the conclusion that I don’t want to depend on God. How can I say such a thing? But emotions reveal my true heart.

So what do I do? I talk to myself. I teach myself the same things that lately I have been teaching my sixth graders: The Character of God. “God is everywhere. He knows everything. He is all-powerful. He is perfectly holy and just. He is perfect love. He is Sovereign: He is above all and more powerful than all; He is the highest authority.”

I lay my life on those claims. If I believe they are true, then why do I worry? Even if the worst happens, and the visa is denied, do I still believe He is all-powerful and holy and just and sovereign and love? Yes, I must.

I am writing this here so that you can rejoice with me at God’s provision if we get on that plane on October 6th, and hold me accountable to my belief in His character if we do not.
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