Exactly one year ago, I had the privilege of hearing Beth Guckenberger speak at Created For Care. While many things she shared became engraved in my heart, one of my favorites was her illustration of bringing the Kingdom to the Chaos. When God created the world, everything was good and in perfect peace. Then, Adam and Eve’s actions resulted in the original sin, which separated God from the world He had created. When Jesus came into the world, he brought the Kingdom to the Chaos. As Christ followers, we must follow Jesus’ example and bring the Kingdom of God into our dark world. Shining a light for Christ can be exhibited in various ways.
- Volunteering and prepare meals at a local homeless shelter.
- Visiting people in prison on a regular basis to encourage them with Truth.
- Going on a short-term mission trip to serve the least of these.
- Sending money to organizations supporting clean water initiatives.
- Caring for our neighbor who is widowed and suffering from an illness.
- Buying clothes for a family who lost their home in a fire.
Yes, volunteering at our local church is important. Of course, we should spend time with Christian friends and family members. Yes, we need to go to church on the weekends and learn about how the Bible applies to our lives. Going to Bible Study sessions and staying in the Word every single day is important for our spiritual growth. While all of those things are important and valuable, we were all created for all those things and so much more. Jesus did not stay in the Kingdom, and we should not solely remain in our safe, Christian communities either. Once we invite God into our hearts, we need to consume the Word in order to bring the Kingdom to the Chaos of our world. When we follow Jesus Christ’s example, we find ourselves reaching the least of these.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:34-40)
Of course, as this is a China Adoption Advocacy blog, one of my very favorite ways we can bring the Kingdom to the Chaos is by defending the fatherless, especially through adoption. Just as Jesus came into the chaos of our world so that we could be adopted into our Father’s family, we bring the Kingdom to the Chaos when we adopt these precious ones who wait days, months, and sometimes years for a family. Of course, just like Jesus, sacrifices will be made as we defend the fatherless. Adopting our sons and daughters will cost us considerable time, money, and heartache. Some of our relationships will sever. We might have to walk away from careers we love. As we will say goodbye to our previous hopes and dreams, we will leave what feels comfortable and easy to embark on a journey where our faith guides each step forward.
Despite the sacrifices we make and in spite of the long waits and difficult transitions home, we gain so much more. As we struggle through unknown territory, we learn that nothing surprises God. Through a posture of dependence, we grow closer to the Him. When trials come, we learn to what it truly means to trust the Lord and witness Him showing up in big ways. In breaking away from worldly endeavors, our lives become filled with intention and purpose. There is no more questioning, “Why I am here?” or “What is the purpose of my life?” Our character grows as the Lord whittles away our selfishness, impatience, ego, pride, and desire for control. The Word of God becomes alive in us, giving us comfort and strength as we suffer alongside our children. We become part of a new community – the adoption community – whose hearts bleed just like yours. Our family and friends see the Gospel at work. Last and definitely not least, we have the opportunity to see God redeem the life of a child inside the space of healing we create for them. Witnessing His power and might in the lives of our children leaves us in awe.
Two years ago, I began praying for God to open the hearts of my church leaders, to help them see the need to share His love for the orphan. Last weekend, God answered my prayers as I was invited to hold a session about defending the fatherless. For an hour and a half, I shared the message about bringing the Kingdom to the Chaos and invited everyone to put their passion into action as they take steps toward adoption, foster care, and/or orphan care. This is the message of my heart, and I want to spend the rest of my life empowering and encouraging others to get involved.
After watching The Drop Box Film last night, I heard the statistic that we have 300,000 churches in the United States and 100,000 children currently awaiting adoption in the foster care system. Astounding to think that if one person from every third church adopted one of these children, that statistic would disappear. Can you imagine the light we would shine in the name of Christ if our faith poured out into our actions, and those children had forever families? Over 260,000,000 people in the United States state that they are Christians, and approximately 2,000 children are paper ready for adoption in China. What message would it send to the world if .00077% of those Christians made the decision to adopt all 2,000 of those children next week?
When we bring the Kingdom to the Chaos of the fatherless, lives are changed – yours, mine, theirs, and everyone watching as the light of Christ shines – not because of what we do but because of what He does through us.
“If I seem to have tunnel vision, all I can say is that is what happens when God shouts in your face and demands entire life change. I am fixated, and the only objective as central as living out this new mandate is mobilizing others to join me.” Jen Hatmaker – Interrupted
— photo by Tish Goff