I just emailed our social worker a couple of questions about the first round of paperwork we have to send in, which is just some basic forms to sign saying yes, we'll pay the fees; yes, we understand it's non-refundable; no, we're not convicted child abusers... As I was searching for this stack of papers in the 130 page manual of instructions and forms they sent us, I caught myself rolling my eyes at the paperwork. Already...
I'm so up for it, don't get me wrong. There is no amount of paperwork that will stand between me and my son. I will complete this paperwork process ten times if they ask me. But as I caught myself rolling my eyes and dreading the paper chase (adoption phrase for filling everything out to get on a waiting list to adopt a child), some verses came to mind...
"However, I consider my life worth nothing to me;
my only aim is to finish the race and
complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me -
the task of testifying to the good news of God's grace." Acts 20:24
In obedience to God, Paul was on his way to Jerusalem - not knowing what would happen, but sure that he would face hardships. Yet, he was determined to finish the race set before him.
"Do you not know that in a race all the runner run,
but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as
to get the prize." 1 Corinthians 9:24
Paul knew that his life - which he had given to Christ and was committed to spreading the gospel - needed self-discipline. He didn't want to get off course. He didn't want to run "aimlessly'" (v. 25). He was running with a purpose....to get the prize...to please Jesus...to tell others about Him.
"...And let us run with perseverance
the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes
on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For
the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its
shame, and sat down at the right of the throne of God. Consider
him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will
not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:1b - 3
Paul was encouraging his readers to keep their eyes on Jesus. He knew that following God's heart and obedience to Him would not always be easy. He'd experience so many hardships himself for the sake of Christ. But look at what Christ faced...Torture. Humiliation. Death on a cross. And we were His prize!
The race before me is clear...to always spread the love of Christ. Right now, specifically, it's loving and mothering a child that grows in my heart and not my tummy. It's going after him. Yes, it will be hard. As I read over some of the travel warnings for Colombia (required reading), I got scared. But Christ has clearly set the race before me. I want to run straight there...I don't want to detour or run aimlessly by lagging on the paperwork or grumbling about the process. I want to run with perseverance, with my eyes solely fixed on Jesus - as He strengthens me, runs beside me, and even pushes me along the way.
On your mark, get set, ....GO!!!