Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Grace, According to the Measure of the Gift of God (part 2)

"If you had known about Moise's disablities before you agreed to be his host family, would you still have done it?"

 Jim and I have been asked that question more times than we can count.  I'll be honest, it's not a question we're fond of.  It's completely irrelevent because the fact is, we didn't know.  No one knew.  We saw countless doctors, surgeons and therapists during his months in the hospital and not one of them suspected Moise had brain damage.  However, if we lay aside the irrelevance and take the question as it is intended, the honest answer is a resounding "NO." Jim and I would never, at that point in our lives, have volunteered to host a child that would never return to his home land, especially not one with severe disablities.

 Because we were young.
 Because we already had four children.
 Because our children were too young.
 Because he wasn't ours.
 Because we had  never laid eyes on him.
 Because we didn't love him yet.
 Because we didn't have the emotional, physical, and financial means.
 Because someone else was better suited for it.
 Because a child with disablities did not fit into our picture perfect view of life and family.
 Because we didn't think we had what it took to parent a child like that.
 Because it didn't make sense.
 Because it would be too hard.

It was not happenstance that we didn't know. God knew that we wouldn't have agreed to host him and he withheld that information from us.  He knew that there was only one way we would agree to become Moise's forever family.  We had to love him first.  We had to love him so much that it crushed our hearts to learn of his disablities.  We had to love him so much that sending him back to poverty, where he would surely die, was unthinkable.

Unlike Jim and I, God wasn't surprised by Moise's diagnosis.  He knew, before Moise was born that we would become his parents.  He knew, before Jim and I were married, what he had planned for our family. He knew that we would be mommy and daddy to two more children with disablities and that we would have to give one of them back to him.  He knew also that there was no humanly possible way that we could do any of it on our own, so he poured out his grace.  Over and over again he poured out grace to do the thing that we didn't know how to do....parent children with disablities.

For unto everyone of us is given grace, according to the measure of the gift of God..  (Eph 4:7)

We couldn't possibly have known it that night at the airport, but this verse, which rooted itself so deeply into my heart, was God's promise to us. He didn't promise it would be easy or that our hearts would never ache.  He promised his grace, exactly the right amount, at exactly the right times, exactly according to his gift.

If we continue reading in Ephesians 4, we read  verse 8) "When He ascended on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men."  verse 11) And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers and we all know that to some He gives the gift of music, drawing, writing, or speaking.  Some are given gifts of healing.  Some can lead and some can organize and some are gifted in hearing the heart of others.  Some are very aware of their gifts, while others have yet to discover their gift.  Some of us have gifts that we would never, ever have chosen for ourselves but God gives them anyway and then blesses us abundantly if we use them.

God's Grace. So unique. So perfect. So personal. So individualized. Given to each one of us, according to the measure of the gift of God.

God is good, all the time.

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