“Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
These very familiar words from Matthew 7 is the Gospel reading for today. Amidst all our struggles and hardships, these words are a balm for the soul. Fr. Earl remarked in his homily this morning that only God can bring hope out of despair.
I have seen time and time again in my own personal experience how God answers prayers in the most unexpected ways. It seems like a lifetime ago Tate and I were struggling to have a child. We kept knocking on the door, but it didn’t seem like God was listening. We began the adoption process, buried in forms, the door still seemed firmly closed. As we began our adoption classes, open adoption was discussed. Tate and I were certain this was not for us. Our adoption agency encouraged us to pray and remain open and see what happened. Once again, we still could not see how that door was going to budge.
The grace of God is a powerful thing especially in a heart that seeks him. Step by step, we found ourselves led down the path by the Spirit. As we met birthmothers who came to our classes to share their stories, we discovered how much we admired these women and their courage. We began to see how our children would benefit from knowing how much they were loved from the beginning. We stopped looking at our future adopted child as a piece of property that was “ours.” We realized that God was placing them in our homes to raise them for his greater honor and glory.
These were all just hypotheticals to us until we met Drew’s birthmother, Laura, and it all became so very clear. Here was a woman who found herself in a very difficult situation. She too sought the help of God. Her love for her son gave her to the courage to follow the path laid before her by God. God had opened the door to our prayers and to hers.
Twice more we had the blessing of adopting. Twice more we met women and men we love and admire. God threw the door wide open to a something far greater than we had expected. He really just blew the entire door off!!! Only he could take the struggle and despair and turn it into something beautiful and hopeful.
A dear little girl named Grace White recently died of DIPG in Northern Kentucky. After his daughter’s death, her father sent and email out to all their friends who have prayed for them along the way. This letter, far from being filling with sadness and loss, was filled with joy and gratitude. It is a testament to the faith of this father. Even the hardest things we can possibly imagine, the loss of a child, can be borne when united to Christ. I have included his email below. Make sure you have tissues in hand!
I will continue to knock on the door and I will do so with confidence that the Lord answers all my prayers, even if it is done is ways I cannot see or as quickly as I would like. As Psalm 138 states,” Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.” JMJ