Have you ever said, "Oh, I could never fill in the blank..." only to later realize that you indeed could....maybe even that God had called you to that exact thing? Back in 2001, on a plane from Hawaii to DFW, I said I could never fly further than that flight (about 8 hours) because I just couldn't stand it. I couldn't sleep on the flight, I was uncomfortable, I just couldn't fathom being on a plane longer than that. I'm sure God enjoyed my logic as He chuckled about what was to come....What was to come was 2007 when God let me know I could indeed fly longer than 8 hours because I was called to go on my first overseas mission trip to South Africa. Yes, that is a little bit longer than 8 hours away!
But guess what? I can fly on long plane rides--and I can even sleep on them. You know how I know? Because I have gone to/from South Africa 3 times now. And (hopefully) next year, I'll be going to Ethiopia twice. Which leads me to my next, "Oh, I could never...".
Growing up, I remember telling my parents I would one day adopt, so I went into adulthood believing that to be an option. However, in the midst of that option, there was always the doubt. The doubt that said, "Oh, I could never get through all the paperwork." "I could never have a trans racial family." "I could never deal with all the looks and the comments." "I could never disappoint those who don't agree...". And guess what? God (of course) decided to turn my never into an, "Are you ever!"
Though the paperwork does seem unending and the comments, the disappointment, the fear is still there, God has called us to adopt. And not to change the topic too drastically, but God has called every one of us to do something to care for the orphans. Do not mistake what I am saying. He did not necessarily call every one of us to adopt an orphan,--in fact, many of them are not able to be adopted (for various reasons)--but He did put us as Believers "in charge" of their care.
After all, there are 143 million of them...many going to bed tonight having gone all day without a meal, without clean water, without a hug. Though the task seems daunting, I think this may be our big "I could never" moment. It sure does seem like it: I could never take care of all of them. But what about one of them? Could you sponsor a child through an organization like Compassion International or World Vision? Could you help out a foster family by providing a meal? Could you send money to an organization like Show Hope or go on a mission trip to hug and feed one of them? And maybe you could be one of the ones who God is calling to adopt. Maybe there is another face that belongs in your family.
November is adoption awareness month, and this Sunday is Orphan Sunday. If you live in the McKinney area, I urge you to be at FBC McKinney this Sunday, November 7, to hear more about the cry of the orphan--both in the morning services at 9 and 10:30am and then that evening at 6:30pm. But whether you're in the area or not, I urge you to pray about whatever "I could never" statement you've found yourself saying. Open your eyes and your heart to what God has for you. Maybe it's regarding orphan care, maybe it's something altogether different in this season, but I assure you: God has great plans for you, and those plans will take you outside of your comfortable life if you listen and obey. Our God is a GREAT BIG GOD, and He has great big plans for His people. Let's join Him!