Don’t become a pastor! Wow. What are you thinking? I once knew a pastor who had a TON of people turn their backs on him, even though he was faithful in the ministry. His children rebelled, he had trouble paying his bills, it was a strain on his marriage. Really hard stuff! Eventually, his health declined from all the stress. Becoming a pastor is a bad idea, why would you do that to your family?
Said no one ever to a person who desires to become a pastor.
Don’t be a missionary! The potential for serious sickness in a foreign country is HUGE. Your kids could contract something or die from a treatable illness. The loneliness, the trials, the potential for persecution is SO much higher in other countries, plus, there’s, like, no Starbucks….how will you survive?
Said no one ever to a person who is called to missions.
Oooh, adoption or foster care….man, THOSE kids have issues. Not everyone is called to adopt, why do you have this passion? I once knew a family, who… (followed by some horror story) and it could ruin you. It’s expensive, difficult, and so heartbreaking.
Say many people all the time to those called to adopt.
Oh, amazing missionary that we all want to be like, in that you seem so much more spiritual because you sold all of your earthly goods and you live in a grass hut eating crickets AND not drinking Starbucks…please ENLIGHTEN us, how you do it? Tell us all your stories of hardship and sacrifice…we are all ears. And we sit and listen.
Oh, tired adoptive adoptive parents…..(awkward silence) Sooooooo, what’s the weather like?
Ugh, another adoption fundraiser…man, they just keep coming.
If they can’t afford to pay the fees, they shouldn’t be adopting.
That family hasn’t been to church in a LOOONG time after they came home from Africa with their child. (insert snort)
Well, it was THEIR choice! They brought this onto themselves.
We absolutely do NOT accept adopted, special needs children into our church school.
Adoption will ruin you, both mentally, physically and financially.
Adoption will ruin your biological kids, why would you do that to them? You don’t want to saddle them with a special needs adult after you die, that’s not fair to them!
It’s a HUGE unknown. It’s scary, it’s hard, it’s…it’s…it’s….
Why is it that adoption or foster care is the ONE ministry that people question and question HARD? Could it POSSIBLY be that it is the ONE area where, hands down, there will be a child who will be literally snatched from the gates of hell? Where a child who would have NEVER had the chance to hear about Jesus will NOW hear about Jesus.
What if adoption were pursued and held up in the church just like pastors, missionaries, famous Christian women bloggers, and performers?
This is NOT the case, and frankly, it NEEDS TO CHANGE.
Adoption is HARD and GOOD…. SCARY and EXHILARATING. It takes you to the bottom so you have nowhere else to look but up. It’s Peter in the boat, Jesus feeding the 5,000, Joseph waiting in prison. It’s Moses winning the war, Jacob wrestling with God, Joshua marching around the walls….it’s David conquering Goliath, Miriam weeping on His feet, Jochebed placing her baby in the river.
It’s terrifying courage scattered with tiny seeds of faith.
“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” Luke 9:24
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
Are these children your friends?
Do you see the little, tiny legs? Is SHE your friend? Are you willing to lay down your life, your finances, you sanity (some days!), your time, your energy for her?
Is she a soul for eternity? What is she worth to you?
What is HE worth to God? Well, to God, he is priceless.
And so he should be to us. ALL of us….without all of the caveats and warnings. Without all of the “scary” adoption stories, and trust me, I know that there are a LOT of hard stories out there. Hear them, pray, and move forwards.
And no, not everyone is called to adopt, although I struggle with this thought process….hear me out…because if that child was left on your doorstep in the middle of the night and there was nobody to pick her up and take her in, no social services to call, would you? Or would you leave her there on your concrete porch with your $69.99 flower door wreath hanging above her head.
Would you? Would I? What did the early Christians do?
Now note well those who hold heretical opinions about the grace of Jesus Christ that came to us; note how contrary they are to the mind of God. They have no concern for love, none for the widow, none for the orphan, none for the oppressed, none for the prisoner or the one released, none for the hungry or thirsty (Ignatius, Smyrnaeans 6.2, A.D. 110).
It is the way of persecutors of the good, of those who hate truth, love a lie, do not know the reward of righteousness, do not adhere to what is good or to righteous judgment, who ignore the widow and the orphan…have no mercy for the poor, do not work on behalf of the oppressed, are reckless with slander, do not know the one who made them, are murderers of children…who turn away from someone in need…utterly sinful (Epistle of Barnabas 20.2, c. A.D. 100–130)
Let the hard become good in your life. Let the uncertainty fade away, for faith is not made up of such things. There is no uncertainty with God. All He orchestrates is good, both in your life and the lives of others.
I’ll leave you with this.
“Consider it all you, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4
As a church body, let’s travel this journey together. ASK the hard questions, DO hard things, PRAY long, BELIEVE God, HAVE faith.
Because this, THIS is too precious for even ONE to fall by the wayside.