Recently I have been reading about Nehemiah. It’s a book in the Bible about a man named Nehemiah. The short version of the story is that Nehemiah had a big job being the cup-bearer to king Artaxerxes, a king of Persia in 446 BC. Nehemiah was in a good place in his life and had a lot going for him. He was originally from Jerusalem and one day a friend brought word to him that the walls of the city were destroyed and the people there were in need. This was really distressing to Nehemiah and he prayed and cried about it. As he was praying, the king noticed he was sad and asked what was troubling him. He told him about the city and the king gave him the time and resources to go rebuild the walls of the city. So, he went from being the cup-bearer to the king to working as a builder. Not exactly a promotion. He works to rebuild the city walls all the while being attacked from enemies of the city while he builds. What a job! Not really one most of us would want to sign up for. In the end God uses Nehemiah to do a great thing by restoring Jerusalem.
Sometimes God takes us out of places in our lives that seem perfect to others to put us into places that might seem less than ideal. We may have a great job like Nehemiah had, but then God calls us into ministry where we make less money and work harder. That seems counterintuitive to most people, but if we listen to God He can use us in mighty ways. Or, he might call us out of having a comfortable life with two “normal” kids and call us to adopt a couple of kids with special needs. I sometimes ask myself what our life would have been like if we had not adopted Joshua and Elizabeth and then got bonus kid Elijah thrown in there in the mix too. What if we just had Sam and Jordan? I will admit some days I think that might be nice, but then I realize how boring my life would be. I came across a journal I had written in 2007 just after having Jordan. I was depressed and really struggling with lots of stuff in my life. The thing I wanted most at that time was to do something meaningful for God with my life. I look at my life now and no longer feel that way, because I am doing something meaningful with my life everyday as I raise two children who needed homes and would not have the same opportunities for growth as they do with our family. There is purpose and meaning in that, even on the hardest days when I wish I didn’t have to deal with all that doctor’s visits or tantrums. Life would be simpiler if we had never stepped out and followed God into this crazy life, but it would far less meaningful too. I know there are so many people out there who want to find God’s call for their life or do something “big” for God. Adopt a kid. Be in full-time ministry. Build a wall. Do whatever big thing God is telling you to do that you think is too big and crazy to do. Have courage to step out, you won’t regret it.
By stepping out in faith Nehemiah did a huge thing for God by rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. It seemed crazy and most people were against him, but he did it anyway and reaped the benefits of God’s blessings. You can never do anything big for God if you never step out and start walking. Doing the same old thing day after day will not do it. You have to ask God what he would have you do and then just do it. It might be crazy and it will require courage, but if you step out once you will find you have the courage to keep stepping out in new directions. I don’t know what is in the future for our family, but I do know this, no matter what God calls us to, we will leave it all on the carpet and step out in faith because we have been on this great journey and seen God come through and provide and that gives us courage to do the next big thing he calls us to. You don’t just have one calling in life, you have many, and God has some other stuff for our family, I am sure of it. When I cross the finish line into heaven I want to be worn out and beat up because I gave everything I had to the very end to do whatever God called us to do. There is no retirement or, “oh, well I did that big thing I can sit on my rear end and do nothing for the rest of my life” in the Christian life. Nope, God wants to do big things through his people, if we are willing to listen and do those things, from the beginning of our lives through the end of it. If you are willing to put all in and do what God is calling, there will be rewards for that obedience. Though our lives as a family are hard at times due to our lifestyle of adoption and not being a “normal” family, there is also deep satisfaction of knowing you are doing something important for God. I cannot express what that means to me, but I am so glad I have experienced it and will continue to.