Last spring, on a particularly hard day in our adoption journey, John and I drove out to Lake Michigan and ate dinner in the car, staring out the windshield. We stared at the beach and the waves and the endless expanse of water because sometimes when you feel like your world is out of your control, you need to put yourself before the face of something majestic. You do it to remember how big is your God and how truly small you are.
It is always amazing to me how staring at the sea fixes nothing about our problems and yet somehow still makes everything right.
It's the same thing that moved Job to repentance after he questioned God, in the face of his family's death and the loss of his riches.
When we ask God why?? he doesn't usually answer because. Instead, he turns the tables and questions our very questioning:
Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me if you understand. Who marked off it's dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone- while all the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?
[Or] when I said [to the sea], "This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt."
From whose womb comes the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heaven when the waters become hard as stone, when the surface of the deep is frozen?
Yesterday evening John and I went back to Lake Michigan, this time with our son. It's spring again, but much colder than before. We walked upon the thawing shoreline where the proud waves halt and stared at the frozen cold surface of the deep.
It was Arie's first time to the beach and he gasped when he first saw it. As we all should- shouldn't we? Gasp and marvel at the vast expanse and ponder in our hearts the incredible truth that these are but the outer fringe of his works!
As we stared last spring and stare now again into the deep, all our questions and anxieties about the future are quieted. Yet even as we marvel at his majestic works, how faint the whisper we hear of him!
As I watch my son walk upon sandy soil for the very first time in his life, I am humbled. He starts slowly at first, looking at us with questioning eyes and then down at his feet again, nudging the sand with his boot covered toes.
With our encouragement he takes one step and then another until he is running. He giggles breathlessly, endlessly.
We walk closer to the shore.
He stares into the sea with genuine, unadulterated awe. I do the same as I look at him.
In these pure moments, I think to myself the same thought I clung to in my darkest hours: that God can do all things and no purpose of his can be thwarted. Whether we succeed or fail, win or loose, live or die: nothing will rob God of his glory.
The prayer below is part of my lenten series: 40 prayers for Russia's orphans. Won't you join us in lifting up some of the most vulnerable children in our world today?
Nothing will rob you of your glory. No purpose of yours can be thwarted. As we look into the faces of Russia's orphans, we take comfort in this truth. As we pray for food and water, health and comfort, love and safety, we also pray: use them. Use us and use them for your glory, Lord. Use each precious life in Russia as well as our own to accomplish your purposes and give you the glory due your name.
Yours is the kingdom, and the power and the glory,