We’ve gotten this question from a few people with whom we’ve shared our news.
Oh, there are SO many answers to this question, and I plan to write about several of them over the next few months. But one of them is something I saw in a quote online today. It was written by David Platt, author of “Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream”:
“But then I realize there is never going to be a day when I stand before God and He looks at me and says, ‘I wish you would have kept more for yourself.’ I’m confident that God will take care of me.”
What a profoundly beautiful thought.
God gives to us so that we can give it away, not hoard things and pamper ourselves and keep up with society’s pressure to acquire bigger, better stuff and seek bigger, better forms of pleasure.
By American standards, my family is not rich. No one “Oohs” and “Aahs” over our simple brick house filled with Goodwill and hand-me-down furniture. No one has ever complimented me on my designer fashions or costly manicure. They have heard about my amazing home-cooking skills, my coupon-clipping, deal-finding and thrift-store-scouring excursions. But I don’t think we really fit the image most people have when they think of a family that’s wealthy enough to adopt. We already have three kids, to boot.
“How are you going to afford one more?” they’ve asked.
To quote Platt again, “I am confident that God will take care of me.”
To a precious little girl who has nothing, save the clothing, photo album and stuffed animal we sent her, what we have is an extravagant abundance. For this child who has only had two meals a day –on a good day– consisting of a cup of porridge in the morning and a plate of beans and rice in the evening– the food that is currently in my little kitchen is probably more than she has ever seen in one place at any time.
I thought about that last night, as I ate fresh pineapple chunks and my sons sat on the sofa together, eating ice cream pops (from which they had two kinds to choose). Our bellies were already full after enjoying overstuffed bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches, and I wondered, “Has my daughter felt full today? Or ever? Has she ever experienced the pleasure of having dessert, and not only having it, but having so many options to choose from?”
We had the ice cream pops, the pineapple, and there were cookies in the cookie jar. Cake mix in the cupboard. Yogurt in the fridge, parked right there next to the milk, juice, iced tea and soda.
More than enough to share.
Most people look at us and don’t see wealth, and I say that’s a shame. What a lie the enemy of our souls has sold us here in this land of abundance, calling us poor and making us believe it so that maybe we’d never think to reach beyond ourselves.
I sit here ashamed that I bought that lie for so long.
But Satan’s a liar and God is my Father and He has shown me again and again that I can trust Him.
I love this passage from 2 Corinthians 9, in The Message paraphrase:
“God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done. As one psalmist puts it,
‘He throws caution to the winds,
giving to the needy in reckless abandon.
His right-living, right-giving ways
never run out, never wear out.’
This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God.”
And that, my friends, is one reason why we’re adopting this lovely young lady and why we invite you to join us in this adventure by giving, if you can, to help bring her home.
I’ll tell you this: the most precious gift we’ve gotten so far is .56 cents from someone who literally only had that to give, but wanted to give what she had. It meant more than she’ll probably ever know.
The older I get, the more I realize that kind of generosity — giving all we can — is really what this life is all about.