“Be like Abraham and walk through the desert to the land the Lord will give you; act like Noah and build an arc in faith; stare down the giants in your life and slay them like David.” For many years I read the Bible that way. Sure, Jesus is the hero and the gospel matters, but I thought I had graduated from that “simple truth.” I was a real Christian now, needing to walk in faith and slay the giants in my life. And so, I worked at faith-walking and battled hard, only to be crushed when the road tarried in the desert or the giant won a round or two.
One thing we say a lot around Mercy Hill is that “the gospel changes everything.” And so it does. It changed my thinking. No longer did I need to rely on my own strength to lead me through the desert—Jesus already walked that path for me. As it turns out, I’m not like David at all; rather, I’m like the cowering Israelite army. But I can still see those giants in my life defeated because Jesus stood in for me, the scared soldier, and won the battle over my enemies.
Jesus Is the Hero of Adoption
In the same way, I can be tempted to think the same way about adoption. People always tell me that our daughter is “so lucky” that we adopted her. I’m the hero, and I saved that little girl from so much heartache. I know what they mean, but I still find myself shaking my head. We aren’t the hero, Jesus is. We are simply empowered to walk in good works that Jesus purchased with his very life. So, adopting our daughter, as big as it may seem, is only a dim reflection of the blood-stained ransom that allowed my adoption into the family of God.
Don’t get me wrong, adoption is a big deal. God cares deeply for vulnerable children, and when he sees someone caring for one of them, he goes as far as to say that it was as if you had cared for God himself. Bringing a new baby into your life, regardless of how, is no small thing. However, as Erin and I have seen the gospel with greater clarity, we no longer ask the question Why would we adopt? but rather, How can we not adopt? You see, the sacrifice of Jesus in my place has made the extraordinary expected.
How You Can Get Involved
So, if you’re reading this and asking yourself Now what? then I have a few things for you to ponder. Caring for the poor and marginalized is an imperative in Scripture. You cannot say you believe the Bible to be true and not do that which it commands. Does that mean that you should run to the adoption agency and take home a baby tomorrow? Maybe not. But it does mean that you should start to ask this question: in what ways can I care for the vulnerable among us?
I am thankful that our church is investing in a ministry where there will be resources for everyone interested in caring for vulnerable children. You may be thinking about adoption or foster care, and there will be mentoring and other resources available for you. Even if you don’t think you are called to adopt but have a heart to serve those who do, there are many ways you can be involved. Mercy Hill’s first Adoption/Foster Care Interest Meeting will be Sunday, March 11th. Please click here to be a part of our Facebook Group and be on the lookout for more details about the meeting.
Somebody is reading this post and thinking about serving vulnerable children and wondering if they are strong enough or if their faith is deep enough or if their courage will last. I will leave you with this: what matters most is not how much faith we have but rather the object of our faith. I can have strong faith in thin ice and still fall in and drown, or I can have weak faith in thick ice and live. Whether your faith is strong or weak, the object of that faith, Jesus Christ, is strong enough to hold the weight of your life. So take that first step out onto the ice, I can promise you from experience that it is a place of great joy.
-Andrew Holben (Mercy Hill member)