Even Better Than Eden: Ch. 7, Offspring, Personal Journal
Suffering can come in many shapes and sizes.
Some suffering comes because we live in a broken world, a wilderness. As a result of the fall, we live with an empty heart, a desert.
Sometimes we experience pain because we failed God’s test. Instead of choosing life through faith, we follow our common sense reasoning and exchange life for death.
And sometimes, we find ourselves in the crosshairs of the enemy.
For me, it helps to realize that there may be many reasons why I suffer.
As I was thinking about this chapter this week, I realized how these may all be intertwined in our adoption story.
We suffer the effects of Anah’s genetic condition. Her Down Syndrome is not of her own choosing, but it impacts us daily.
We suffer the effects of her orphan history. This is not uncommon in a broken world.
These two difficulties then create a test for me. Will I turn to God when times are hard, and I struggle to deal with her limitations for another day? Or will I try to escape the hardship and trial she brings with her, trying to find a way out on my own? (The latter is my default. It doesn’t work.)
Either way, it is hard. Even if I turn to God and seek to do what honors Him, even if I make it my aim to love her well, my heart is susceptible to temptation to self-pity or a fatalism that hardens my heart.
But this chapter has made me wonder if there might also be an element of attack to consider.
By adopting Anah, our family has taken a stand for Christ. In our story, there lies great potential for the Gospel to be displayed.
I do not believe in blaming Satan for everything. In fact, I don’t think he’s all that original.
I just think he knows a good opportunity when he sees one. As the prince of this world, it doesn’t take him much to make use of what is at his disposal. It’s not hard to just twist the knife a little more.
We have been reading God’s Story not merely for entertainment, but so that his story can change ours. How does understanding this help me change mine?
First, it helps me to respond differently to Anah. Instead of viewing her as my antagonist, I can see her with compassion.
Second, it challenges me to choose daily, even moment by moment, to lean on God to do for her what He does for me. She and I are both former orphans. Though it means death, I can trust that loving her as He loved me will be the way to life (1 John 4:20-21).
Third, it prompts me to pray that God might do His greater will in Anah and through our family, that any redemptive purposes He might have through our story might draw others to a closer love and faith in Christ.
How does this Story change yours?