Jenny and I are living the peace which passes understanding. We have it because God has given it to us by the Spirit. We have comfort because the God of all comfort indwells us. But be clear: our situation is stressful. We have had our son now, as our adopted son, since he was 6 months old. He will be 17 months old in a few days. We are on furlough from Guatemala in order to get him. That means we are removed from normal, routine, life. It's constant background stress - an ache that's simply there. We received news that the government of the DR Congo may suspend exit letters for all adopted children for a year.
We were awaiting a letter from Child Services in the DR Congo called a bordreau letter, which clears our son to be issued an exit visa. We both are then to travel, get our son, and take him to the DGM (Immigration) for an interview after which they issue an exit letter and we bring him home. At the point in the process where were were a few pen strokes from rejoicing, a single person decided to halt our son, who is already ours and has a US visa, from leaving the country.
What this means is that our expectations have been brutally murdered. Jenny and I have never endured a more difficult time in our 13 years of marriage. It is so very hard on a tender-hearted mama.
But God is faithful. He has given us comfort to patiently endure. He has given us peace that literally slows my heartbeat. Yesterday Jenny's mom's Sunday school class asked us how they could pray. A wave of courage overwhelmed me and I said, "Pray we get our son before we have to go back to Guatemala. I'm tired of asking for what I already have - let's pray the Lord kicks down doors. Lets pray the walls come tumbling down."
So this morning as I was talking to the Lord, He brought me to this passage in Luke. Accident? Coincidence? Ha. Read it with me.
Luke 18:1-8 (HSCB)
"He then told them a parable on the need for them to pray always and not become discouraged: 2 “There was a judge in a certain town who didn’t fear God or respect man. 3 And a widow in that town kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’
4 “For a while he was unwilling, but later he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or respect man, 5 yet because this widow keeps pestering me,[a]I will give her justice, so she doesn’t wear me out[b] by her persistent coming.’”
6 Then the Lord said,“Listen to what the unjust judge says.7 Will not God grant justice to His elect who cry out to Him day and night? Will He delay to help them?[c] 8 I tell you that He will swiftly grant them justice. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find that faith[d] on earth?”
This is a parable, given right after Jesus talks to the disciples about His second coming. Unlike many parables, Jesus gives the reason behind it - He reveals the purpose. Forgive me if I just roll observation/interpretation/application all together.
"... the need for them to pray always and not become discouraged."
The need. We need to pray and not become discouraged. Why? Let's keep reading.
There is a widow. Desperate. Hopeless. Powerless. She needs justice. "Give me justice", she asks. But this judge, who has the power to give it, will not because he does not fear God or respect his fellow humans. He has power but no righteousness. Yet he gives her justice not because he has become suddenly just, but because he doesn't want her to wear him out with her persistent/constant/continual request.
Jesus says to hear what the unjust judge said. Because He is going to contrast him with God.
"Will not God grant justice to His elect who cry out to Him day and night?"
Will not God...what a question! God is righteous. He is Just. He is the author of all justice. All righteousness. Every manifestation of justice meted out upon this broken rock comes from God. Even justice given through the hands of an unjust man. He has power and righteousness. He is not an unjust judge. How much more should we continuously, constantly ask Him for justice?
"Will He delay to help them? I tell you that He will swiftly grant them justice"
We have a God who can act. When the nation of Israel, backs still scabbed from the slave masters whip, found themselves with the sea before them and the Egyptian army behind, they needed swift help. They needed God's righteousness, His justice, to be manifested in power and in time.
The DGM is robbing orphans of justice by refusing to sign exit letters even after we have followed every protocol. We have sought to adopt and redeem a child, our child, from the brokenness and corruption and woeful misery of life before him. We have done this because it is what we are supposed to do. We are God's elect. Why? Because He elected us. And Jesus tells us that God will grant us justice. I didn't say He would, He said He would. When Jesus says, "God will grant you justice" He is saying, "I will grant you justice", because He is God. And He will do it swiftly! I don't know off hand what the Greek word translated 'swiftly' is, but in this context it means without delay. So we are praying that God, in His almighty power, would grant us justice without delay.
I am weary of asking God for what I already have. I don't need to ask Him for peace - I have it. I don't need comfort - He is my comfort. I need justice for my son. Jesus doesn't say that God will give me a new car or health or a proper self-esteem. He says He will give us justice. And that is what we need.
Then Jesus ends with this question:
Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find that faith on earth?”
Why does He ask that question in that place? Because we must exercise faith to ask God for justice and we must believe that He can do it. I tell you that if Jesus comes today, He will find at least one son and one daughter who have that faith on earth.
Will you pray with us? Let us flood the throne room of our God because we are His chosen. We are His adopted, redeemed, beloved. Let us approach the throne of grace with humble confidence because the one who justified us can give justice to those who need it and are powerless to obtain it. We are praying that God would grant us justice; that our son's Bordereau letter would be swiftly issued by child services and that the DGM would then swiftly process and grant us an exit letter for our son so that we may bring him home. We are praying that God would do this swiftly. We are praying this because Jesus told us to pray always and not to be discouraged. Because He told us God would give us swift justice - the very thing we most desperately need.
We are asking you to pray with us because you too are God's elect, His chosen. Believe. Intercede. Cry out to Him. And let us see Him bring us justice.