Awhile back I believed the Lord was using the journey of Moses to teach me about this adoption journey we are on. I was recognizing that the Promised Land is embarrassingly close to Egypt and yet it took the Israelites 40 years to make the trek. I said that I believe one of the reasons it took so long (aside from the obvious disobedience) was because God had more to teach them than how to get from point A to point B; He established Himself as their provider, their leader, their King. He taught them how to be a people group, His chosen. He softened their hearts and they learned to hear His voice. I acknowledged that as we pursue adopting God has more to teach us than just a quick add-on to our family.
Wow. I have 3 kids. I've had 3 for a year and a half now so the surprise of it should be over. Yet I think because we had all of them in under 4 years it has taken awhile to sink in. 95% of the time it feels normal but every once in awhile I step outside myself and think "am I really putting toothpaste on 3 little toothbrushes?" Or I set the table and think "We really need 5 forks, huh?" Now I know some families (ahem...Diacogiannis') will laugh at this because to them anything less than ten is 'a quiet night'.
When I pulled stockings out this month it hit me fresh as I hung one, two, three, four, five stockings. Five Christmases ago there were only 2 stockings and we were hoping Darla would be born 'any day' (yeah right...January 7 is hardly a Christmas baby). Now there are 5 proud stockings and if you notice, there's room for another one or two if we all scoot over a bit.
Jews talking about how Jesus can’t be the Christ; “However, we know where this Man is from; but when the Christ comes, no one knows where He is from.” John 7:25-27
I read this and think, “Idiots! Here are the Jewish leaders, people who know Scripture inside and out and they still miss it!” It’s easy to look at the New Testament and wonder what the hold up was for these stuck-up Pharisees.They were waiting and anticipating a Savior, they looked like they had it together, they seemed so…ready. But they clung to pre-conceived ideas of what it all should look like. Their expectation involved less life-changing forgiveness and more kicking Roman butt. They wanted it their way and they wanted it to meet what they perceived their needs to be. They did not want it to be uncomfortable or to involve personal change that might rock their world. Ultimately they wanted it to fit into their nice, neat, explainable religion. Jesus didn’t “fit” and they ditched out.
It’s easy to shake my head. “Tsk, tsk ignorant religious people”, and then turn back to my own nice, neat, explainable religion. Right? As I finish the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan this month I keep thinking about how we often do what the Pharisees did; reduce God to a manageable religion that doesn’t interfere with our own comfort. “The goals of American Christianity are often a nice marriage, children who don’t swear, and good church attendance. Taking the words of Christ literally and seriously is rarely considered. That’s for the “radicals” who are “unbalanced” and who go “overboard”. Most of us want a balanced life that we can control, that is safe, and that does not involve suffering.” Gulp.
I’m laughing (probably out of conviction) by the time I read Chan saying,“Lukewarm people probably drink and swear less than average, but besides that, they really aren’t very different from your typical unbeliever.They equate their partially sanitized lives with holiness, but they couldn’t be more wrong.” Jesus called the Pharisees “white washed tombs” meaning they looked "right" on the outside but their insides were just as messy as Joe-Leprosy.
Just throwing myself out there a bit...