Monday, November 28, 2011

Seventy Times Seven

The leaves just keep on falling around here, no matter how many piles we make.  :)
It reminds me how the days are passing and that the seasons are changing.
Days of waiting are hard, but yet still SO FULL OF BLESSINGS if I just open my eyes and look!
Today marked 70 days of waiting since United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) received our 1800a application to adopt S. This part of the process can take up to 90 days for an adjudicator to review your file and your fingerprint results before granting official approval. I call their office almost daily, checking on the status of our case. Most of the officers I talk to are very helpful and positive, and they tell me that usually the wait time is 60 to 70 days and that cases rarely take the full 90 days to be reviewed. Obviously, we've been very hopeful that our case would be seen long before we hit 90 days. We've been praying and asking the Lord to speed up this part of the process, as He has done with several other parts of our adoption process over the past 6 months already. I am not going to lie. It has been HARD waiting and knowing that each day that our file sits on some one's desk, S is sitting in her orphanage. It has been HARD to continue asking in faith for the Lord to work a miracle, believing He is able to do all things, yet still sitting here 70 days later continuing to wait and continuing to pray. It is HARD to pray fervently for the Lord to act, yet also being willing to surrender the results and the outcome to Him, trusting in His sovereignty and His perfect faithfulness! Ultimately, I do believe that He knows best, that His timing is perfect, and that His understanding is infinite. He sees the big picture. He knows all the details...

Earlier today when I was praying for S and asking that today would be the day for our case to be reviewed, I came across this passage from Spurgeon. It is one of my favorites, one that has many highlights and underlined words from past years and past seasons of waiting. The circumstances were different, but I well remember that all-too familiar antsy, impatient feeling that so easily gives way to anxiety and worry. As I thought back on that time in my life, I was reminded of God's perfect faithfulness. My hope and prayer today is that you will be encouraged also in whatever circumstances you are in the middle of. It's so easy, isn't it, to miss the blessings during the waiting?

Here's the Spurgeon passage, based on I Kings 18:43 that I love.

"Go again seven times."

Success is certain when the Lord has promised it. Although you may have pleaded month after month without evidence of answer, it is not possible that the Lord should be deaf when His people are earnest in a matter which concerns His glory.

The prophet on the top of Carmel continued to wrestle with God, and never for a moment gave way to fear that he should be non-suited in Jehovah's courts. Six times the servant returned, but on each occasion no word was spoken but "Go again." 

We must not dream of unbelief, 
but hold our faith even to seventy times seven.

Faith sends expectant hope to look from Carmel's brow, and if nothing is beheld, she sends again and again. So far from being crushed by repeated disappointment, faith is animated to plead more fervently with her God. She is humbled, but not abashed: her groans are deeper, and her sighings more vehement, but she never relaxes her hold or stays her hand.

It would be more agreeable to flesh and blood to have a speedy answer, but believing souls have learned to be submissive,

and to find it good to wait for as well as upon the Lord.

Delayed answers often set the heart searching itself, and so lead to contrition and spiritual reformation: deadly blows are thus struck at our corruption, and the chambers of imagery are cleansed. The great danger is lest men should faint and miss the blessing.

Reader, do not fall into that sin, but continue in prayer and watching. At last the little cloud was seen, the sure forerunner of torrents of rain, and even so with you, the token for good shall surely be given, and you shall rise as a prevailing prince to enjoy the mercy you have sought. Elijah was a man of like passions with us: his power with God did not lie in his own merits. If his believing prayer availed so much, why not yours? Plead the precious blood with unceasing importunity, and it shall be with you according to your desire.
Charles Spurgeon        

Oh, Lord, even if you ask us to wait 70 days times 7,
 we will wait, and we will trust You...


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