Monday, March 14, 2011

Worth Repeating: A Talk With My Dad

(This is a post from a year ago when we were seeing closed doors in our adoption process, but it is something worth sharing again. Maybe it will speak to you where you are today...)

Last night I had such a great conversation with my dad. We've always been a pair who can talk forever, and yesterday was one of those long, precious conversations. I'm blessed that I have a father on this earth who speaks wisdom to me (and wisdom spoken in an Irish accent just sounds that much cooler!). We were talking, among other things, about doors. Specifically about doors being open or doors being closed. In life as well as in adoption, we are constantly moving through these doorways, constantly moving through some process or other.

My dad said something to me that I think is so right on, and I want to share it. He said, "There is as much blessing in a door being closed as in a door being open. God is 'He who closes and no man can open and opens and no man can close.' We often like to think that the blessing is the open door, but it's important to see the gift of the door that is closed."

He also said that our lives are about the process. He has a saying, "It's not what's happening to you but what's happening in you in response to what's happening to you that matters." That God is going to make sure we "go through to get through." That we can't short-cut what the Lord is teaching us and doing in us in the "process" of whatever it is that is going on in our lives. That is so relevant to what God's been teaching me lately, which is to wait patiently on Him. 

One final thing that my dad said was really the same thing that a girlfriend said to me the other day, about God being too big to begin to understand. My friend told me that she often sits in awe of the Lord, not fully understanding Him - and she said that it always occurs to her that if she could understand God, He wouldn't be her God. She embraces in Him what so many won't - He is beyond all things, bigger than our ability to understand, with ways higher than ours and thoughts we cannot begin to fathom, worthy of our praise and trust and obedience. My dad said that same thing, too. He was reflecting on the fact that God's ways are not like ours and His thoughts are not like ours, so if we limit our lives to doing only things that we can understand completely, or that make sense in our minds, we can be relatively certain that we are missing out on some of the things God has for us. It's something to really think about.

Also, today I'm thankful! Thankful for my marriage and that I have so many friends with great husbands who are also amazing leaders, and I want to say to my friends who love to brag on their men, "Thank you, and keep it up!" It blesses me to hear you bragging! So many women show so much disrespect in how they speak to friends about their husbands, and it's a shame. God puts systems in place within life and within marriage to be blessings. One of the things I'm most blessed by is the wisdom of my husband.  I am so heart-led sometimes, and my husband is the most wise and precious and strong leader in our family. He hears my heart, and he loves my heart, and he still follows the wisdom God gives him as my leader, and I respect Selden so much for how flawlessly he leads in our home. I can trust him at all times, with all decisions. He makes me feel so safe that way, and I thank God for that protection He's given our family through my husband. He's so much more patient than I am, and he doesn't worry or waver. He's so awesome!

The other thing that is on my heart today is from my reading in Romans this morning. There are so many of us who are waiting on the Lord to move mountains, to deliver long-awaited promises, to provide for needs that seem overwhelming to our human mind. I was reminded today that our God is the God who does the impossible. He promises, and He also provides. His plan in fulfilling His promises can sometimes stretch out for what feels like a long time in our perspective. Like Abraham and Sarah. He was "about a hundred years old" and his wife's "womb was also dead." "Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised." (Romans 4:20 and 21)
Our God is not constrained to the limits that are imposed upon us as humans. His resources are limitless.  His knowledge and wisdom are unsearchable. His love for us is beyond our comprehension. And the obstacles that we see do not exist as obstacles for Him. He is "the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were." (Romans 4:17)

Today, as I'm re-posting this, I am praying that each of you reading this will be encouraged in your day, that you will see both the opening and closing of doors as a gift from a God who knows how to give good things to His children, that you would cling to the promises of God for your life, and stand firm in the faith that "He who promised is faithful."  I know some of you are going through times of waiting, times of trials, times of not quite understanding the HOW of the promise God has spoken to you.  Be encouraged.  Hang on to the promise.  

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