I thought of every possible reason and every possibly excuse to say no.
I touched all the bases, dotted every i and crossed every t. I had it all covered. No would be my answer.
You may be thinking that my outright refusal is dealing with the suggestion that I would take a trip to the dentist. Nope (still refusing that).
I’m actually talking about a calling that God Himself placed upon not only my life, but the lives of each member of the Caudell family. The call to step up and make a difference in the life of a child.
In a matter of days, we’ll be foster parents.
Now, in full disclosure, this opportunity didn’t hit us from out of the blue. The Lord began dealing with our hearts concerning the welcoming of another impressionable life into our home years ago. We (Mama Nette & I) actually took “Fostering” class a couple of years ago. It’s been our heart to care for “the least of these” for a long time and the hearts of our birth children are no exception as they have been praying for this to happen for a while (I’m biased but our kids rock! So selfless, hospitable and eager to impact others. I’m super proud of the people that Jesus is shaping them to be). Yet, though we were interested, eager and willing to do whatever it took to bring a kid(s) into our home…life started happening. You know, the usual. “Things” came up. Budgets changed. Busyness wrecked our schedule.
Eventually, though we all sensed God leading us in this direction, we decided that we’d stop pursuing adoption/fostering “for now” and pick that ball back up and run with it when life stopped happening, our budget made sense and we weren’t so dang busy.
There’s a major problem with the decision we made…we failed to factor in the fact that the God that we serve is a Sovereign King that operates on His time and not ours….according to His will and not our circumstances. So when we received a phone call a few weeks ago with the opportunity to do exactly what He’d pricked our hearts to do years before, we (as in Mama Nette and the Caudell trio) were elated. However, we (as in I) weren’t overly excited.
Here’s why: I’d planned how I wanted this thing to work out already and this wasn’t part of the plan. In my mind, the reasoning behind why we’d stopped pursuing this a while back were wise and yes, legit and few things had changed. “Life” was still happening. Our budget was still vice-grip tight. We were busier than ever before.
So, no. Not now.
That wasn’t a selfish response nor was it a rushed on. It was just an honest one and I was settled upon it.
Until the Word of God, in which I bank my everything on, began to wreck me.
Until the indwelling presence of Gods Holy Spirit began to provoke me.
Until Gods people, chief among them my wife, children and friends that she shared with began to intercede for me on the matter.
Slowly but surely, my resistance was chipped away until my “no” turned into a “here I am, Lord. Just clay. You’re the potter. Just a servant. You’re the Master…may Your will be done and not my own”.
When I reasoned that “life” was happening with way to much regularity already, I was reminded by James and Peter that submitting to the saving grace and total Lordship of Jesus Christ does not provide immunity from difficulty here on this earth.
When I decided that it just didn’t make sense at the present time due to budgetary restrictions, I was reminded by the Psalmist that the God who has provided for our every need is still on His throne and His resources are limited as He still “owns the cattle on a thousand hills”.
When I’d made my mind up that we were just too busy the question that kept popping up in my own heart was, “Too busy for what???”. Too busy to make an eternal difference? Too busy to open our home in Christian hospitality? Too busy to practice the “pure and undefiled religion” that scripture indicates is caring for widows and orphans? Was I, were we too busy to inconvenience ourselves for the sake of a child?
I found that we could justify being too busy for many, many things. BUT NOT THIS ONE THING.
Now, I write this blog for a couple of reasons.
First of all, to ask that you commit to praying for us, our new addition and the whole situation. Our goal is to provide love, care, help and hope while we can and that in the meantime, everyone involved gets to the place in life where they can provide the same when the time comes.
Second, I want you to carefully consider what God has called you to do with your life. For us that included Foster Care. That may not be the task He’s called you to but if you belong to Him, rest assured, you have a task! Have you submitted to His call or, like I did, have you said “no, Lord…and here’s why ( fill in the blank )”.
I promise you that there’s nothing that excuses us from faithful obedience to the call of God. That calling may seem like “bad timing”. It may seem like it makes very little sense. The truth is, His leading may not include a detailed map (check Abrahams story out). Yet the fact is, God has not called us to agree with His timing or even understand His call. He’s called us to a simple trust and a faithful obedience.
Hear Him. Submit to Him. Follow Him. DO SOMETHNG.
“Faith without works is dead” James 2:17
In Him, Through Him and For Him,