Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I had the opportunity to travel back “home” to Alabama and spend some time with my family. As I’ve grown older and closed in more closely on what God’s calling is on my life, I’ve found myself more attune to the needs of my family. This year, that was truer than ever.
I have no clue whether they read this or not, and since I haven’t asked for permission to share their story, I’ll be as vague as possible. While there were other things that certainly came to my attention to pray about, I’ll share one. One of my cousins and his wife are in the middle of the adoption process. Several years ago, God gave them a passion for the orphans of the world and specifically adopting from Ethiopia. While their passion is evident and they seem unwavering in their desire to follow God, not everyone is supportive of their decision.
As heartbreaking as it is to even type this, her mother and father are not supportive. Gospel believing, church going individuals who tell their children not to adopt. Blind to this picture of what God has done in their own lives. Afraid my cousins (and likely themselves) won’t love an adopted child like they’ll love a biological one. So, pastor-in-training, what do you do?
The only thing I knew to do, and the only advice I can give any of you, was to run toward the gospel and the grace of our Lord Jesus. My advice? J and A, what you’re doing is a picture of the gospel. It’s what the Lord has done in my life, in your lives, and by most indication what He has done in your mother and father’s lives. God has called you to do what he has done for you, take in an orphan, and give him an inheritance that he’s done nothing to deserve. Your actions and your words are preaching the gospel, and the Lord has called us to preach the gospel no matter the cost.
It made me rather reflective on the way home. I’m not extremely close to my family. Ok, I’m not really close at all to my family. But, the Lord has called me to minister to His people and preach the gospel to the Lost. This call is to the local church, but I really think it’s to everyone, and particularly to my family. It’s been easy to think about my future wife and kids and leading them spiritually, after all, that’s a command in Ephesians, but I think there’s a command to extend that too. Being with the family over the holidays isn’t a break from work like the plumber or lawyer gets. It’s an opportunity to share the grace of God that he has given you a special bond with.