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It's been a rough five days.  It's been a week on which I will look back and say, "Yes, that was a very sad time, but God was and is good, in spite of the circumstances that seemed to be shattering around me."  Three things in particular are troubling us now. As I have said before on this blog, physical, earthly adoption mirrors our spiritual adoption as children of God.  Just as God the Father pursued us to make us His own children when we were far from Him, adoptive parents move towards their helpless adoptive kids and make them their own.  And in both adoptions, a work of the Spirit must happen.  When we are born again as Christians, the Holy Spirit comes to reside in us and converts us from children of darkness to children of light.  Well, I am learning anew that the Holy Spirit must also convert earthly adopted kids--only God can convert their spirits from the heart of an orphan to the heart of a son or daughter.  Only God Himself can bring healing and restoration and convince a once-orphaned child that he or she is now a dearly loved heir.  Waiting for that conversion is painful and brings with it a host of burdens.

In addition to the above hard lesson, I have become aware over the past few days of a crises taking place in my own nuclear family back in Colorado.  It has me saddened to the core.  Someone exceedingly precious to me is suffering greatly and no end seems in sight.  I am on my knees begging God to bring healing and I do indeed feel so worried.

Lastly, as you may know, my sweet mother-in-law continues to suffer from ALS (a terminal and painful disease).  Mark and I are having a sort of relay-trip to Denver over the next two weeks to see her.  He'll go first, then I'll go, and he'll come back.  Mark has felt his mom's suffering pressing on him and he wants so badly to alleviate some it.  The three little girls will make the trip with us (in shifts) but we are forced to leave Rebekah here, as the US refuses to grant her a second visa.  These travels, too, have me anxious.

It's no coincidence that in the Bible study I lead here at the Harbor we have just memorized the following verses, which I am taking to heart and trusting to be true and life-giving:

"6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."
--Philippians 4:6-9

Looking Back

A few of my favorite things--Spiritual Growth Books