There is no sweeter joy, I think, than to see our children and grandchildren growing in the Lord and loving His Word. That is what I feel I have been privileged to see this week. Joshua has grown six inches in one week in the Lord! Benjamin is as steady as a rock as he rests in God’s Word. And little Hannah—well, it has been a hard week for her, but I see her little by little coming to accept God’s plan rather than her ideas of how things ought to be.
This last week saw very little progress in the Ukraine as far as the adoptions Julie and David are trying to complete. They sat there, racking up expenses and losing precious time in being away from their children, while the country had three days of holiday, plus the weekends, which meant very little business was accomplished. On top of that, their lawyer/facilitator was trying to work with a judge who was uncooperative and just downright nasty-mean. She did not want to be bothered with an adoption and could care less about hearing them anytime soon. In the end, their lawyer was forced to re-file the papers in order to get a different judge—which most definitely turned out to be a good thing. The one bright spot in the whole thing was that David and Julie were allowed to have Oleg with them for four whole days.
On Thursday David and Julie told the kids the bad news—Mommy would not be coming home as early as they had hoped. The news was met with tears by Hannah, who had been struggling all along to accept Mama’s absence for the last three weeks. Joshua didn’t cry, but I could see he was upset on the inside. Benjamin took it in stride. Disappointed, yes, but he is fourteen and a mature fourteen-year-old, at that. My heart sank. How was I going to keep the younger kids holding it together, let alone happy, until their mother got home?
We talked every day about how God is in control and He makes no mistakes. I told them that there are no delays as far as God’s plans are concerned. Everything in His timing is perfect because He sees the whole picture and has planned it all from beginning to end for our best. We talked about the importance of patiently trusting in Him and to waiting on Him to work it all out. And we talked about how when we whine and complain about His plans, then that is like saying to Jesus, “I don’t really trust your love for me.”
The first day I noticed Joshua was reading his Bible a lot, and drawing comfort from it. He asked to do the devotions that night and share with the rest of us the Scriptures that had particularly helped and comforted him. Through the rest of the week he eagerly sought out verses that strengthened his faith and brought him peace. I witnessed an eleven year old boy maturing in his spiritual life this week.
The second night Benjamin asked if he could lead our devotions. He had remembered the story of the unjust judge and the persistent widow in Luke 18. He read the first eight verses which say, “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” Benjamin then contrasted the unjust judge (whom he likened to the nasty judge in the Ukraine) to the Lord, who is our righteous judge and avenges His people speedily. He also talked about the widow who was unrelenting in seeking justice and reminded us that we need to be persistent in our prayers as well.
How precious it is to me to see my young grandsons turning to the Word of God for strength and comfort and instruction! I am reminded of Psalm 1:1-3 which says, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” I see Benjamin and Joshua both growing up to be godly young men who delight in the Word of God. It will be interesting to see how they grow, like trees planted by rivers of water, bearing fruit and prospering in whatever calling the Lord has for them. They are my delight!