A friend of mine recently gave me the link to her daughter-in-law's blog where she eloquently detailed the process of their international adoption. It was the stuff of a great drama: suspense, passion, excitement, fear, anguish, impatience, shock, anger, sadness, and joyful fulfillment of a dream to bring their children home. It was a long haul, full of red tape and heartbreak, and there were many times when it seemed unlikely that they would become parents. For this remarkable young couple there was also a hedge of prayer and years of self-esteem and self-discipline built on their respective family's love and support.
Their story reminds me of the opening to the second chapter in "The Prayer Country" by Dorothy Eaton Watts. She told the true story of how she started an adoption service for unwanted children during her time with her husband as missionaries in India. Cast-away children were rescued and good homes were found for them. Watts and her husband themselves adopted three children.
Watts refers to Catherine Marshall (the wife of the famous preacher Peter Marshall) whose book, Adventures in Prayer, New York, Ballantine Books, December 1976, page 46 states "Part of our problem in praying for our children....is the time lag, the necessary slow maturation of our prayers. But that's the way of God's rhythm in nature. For instance, the hen must patiently sit on her eggs to incubate them before the baby chicks hatch." When going through her file cabinet 26 years after leaving India, Watts came across many prayers she had written out, and was amazed to find that God had answered these prayers, long after she recalled having even requested them. The idea for finding homes for children was one such example. She had not recalled writing, "Dear God, I feel so bad about all the abandoned babies I read about in the papers. I wish I could do something to save these babies, but I don't know how to get started. If You will send the babies to my doorstep, then I will find a way to take care of them." In His way and time, God 'hatched' this prayer.
In Psalms, David wrote: "Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord." In the Desire of Ages, Ellen White writes (p. 32): "God's purposes know no haste and no delay." We can confidently bring our requests to God knowing that that we can trust Him to resolve these issues of ours in His own time.
If you would like to experience God "hatching" our dreams and hopes in His Time, here is a few examples of things you can do from Dorothy's book:
1- Spend time thinking about your dearest hopes and dreams. Set aside a sort of 'at home retreat' of several days or a long weekend, if you wish, to do this. Think about your dreams for yourself, your family, and your church.
2- List your dreams and hopes on paper. Ask the Holy Spirit along on the eggs-pedition so as to eliminate any requests that are selfish and not in God's Will.
3- Copy each request on to an egg-shape on paper and cut it out.
4- Hide the egg shapes away in a safe place. This demonstrates to God that you trust Him to do what He to do what He thinks is best when the time is right.
5- Make a note somewhere to be alerted to take them out at a future time several months or even years from the time of the secreting. (Email services such as Yahoo will allow for this signaling of the date for you to look up the egg prayer.) You will be mightily surprised by the prayers that have come to fruition!
6- What about the prayers that haven't been "hatched"? Are they still important to your heart? If yes, put them back into your hiding place and wait again for several months or years. Trust that God's time has not yet come.
7- Form a nest of eggs, an egg for each member of your family. Write the name of the family member on the egg and under the name, write your particular outstanding desire for that member. Turn over the egg and write a promise you are claiming for that person. I find that something like The Bible Promise Book is helpful for this purpose. Put the eggs away and let them "hatch".
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