Thursday, July 12, 2007

God Continues to Work on Me

First I'll do all my complaining. If you'd rather not hear me vent, kindly move on past the following list.

  1. I've been in a foreign, non-English speaking country for one week without my luggage. United Airlines has done nothing except route my calls to India where someone whom I can barely understand reads a script that says how sorry they are. Other than that, they have done nothing. But they assured me that I could be reimbursed from 0% to 50% for any purchases I make to cover what has been lost. Very comforting for a man that's been in the same pair of pants for eight days straight.
  2. I went online to confirm that my direct deposit went through for my paycheck. It didn't. But I was reassured that I'm not the only one this has happened to. Very comforting to a man in a foreign country that is quickly running out of Chinese Yuan.
  3. My daughter whom I met for the first time on Monday is terrified of me.

OK. I got it out of my system. Now for the good stuff.

  1. The package our friends back home sent arrived today. My old t-shirts, socks, underwear, sweatpants, and dirty tennis shoes never looked so good. I promptly put on my sweats and headed down to the hotel gym and used the treadmill. That was just what I needed.
  2. I was able to email someone back home who has someone working on fixing the payroll problem. I have enough in savings to carry us through. Praise God our airline tickets home are already paid for!
  3. Today I made excellent progress with Lily. Julianne went and hid in the next room and gave me some alone time with Lily. It is beginning to work. She let me hold her and feed her with no screaming. We then played with her toys for about twenty minutes. She smiled and giggled with me. She mimicked my noises and I hers. It was such an improvement from the previous forty eight hours. We still have quite a ways to go, but today was absolutely wonderful.

Our God truly is an awesome God. And those are not just words...He's proving it to me over and over. You can't help but notice in all my above complaints that the focus is TOTALLY on me. But our Lord refuses to give up on us. Philippians 1:6 reminds us that "...He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."

This whole experience with Lily has given me a glimpse of what God must experience from us. It shows me even more clearly what love is. It's not a mere feeling. And it's not always reciprocal. And I don't mean to imply that I don't have feelings of love for Lily. I do and they are overflowing. But I can see that they are not conditional. My love for her is not determined by what she gives to me in return. Sure, returned affections is greatly desired, yet it is not the condition for loving her.

A verse I had been meditating on (apparently not enough) prior to leaving for China is 1 Peter 5:7-8 which says, "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." What a powerful verse that is. He will willingly take upon Himself our anxiety, not because He is some unknowable, invisible force. Nor because it's His job. But rather, because He cares for us. Wow. Indeed our God IS an awesome God.


Mel said...

Zephaniah 3:20
The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.

I could never fully understand the love God had for me until I had children of my own...and I would find myself delighting in their funny ways, or singing over them or holding them close to quiet them when they were upset...and through those moments the Lord began to impress on me that was how He felt towards me. Amazing stuff hey.

Sorry to hear about your trouble...glad God is with you all now walking with you through this...and very happy to hear that Lily is bonding with Julianne and you too now. Enjoy the wonderful adventure of Family!!

God Bless :)

Grafted Branch @ Restoring the Years said...

I'm so glad I visited for the first time on this post! It was wonderful.

And about the unconditional nature of your love for Lily? True, but wait a couple of years until you find that her love toward you seems at times even more unconditional -- her forgiveness is more ready, she is more willing to forget, her smile is more genuine, her desire for restoration more desperate.

It's so humbling.

You'll see in that, and other behaviors just why Jesus loves the little children.

And it is surely something to treasure, nurture and protect so that it never rots or withers.

The Lord bless you in this fabulous adventure. I can't wait to read more.