"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12



“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”- William Butler Yeats





Friday, May 16, 2008

Worlds apart


THE STARFISH POEM

Once upon a time there was a wise man
who used to go to the ocean to do his writing.
He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day he was walking along the shore.
As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer.

He smiled to himself to think of someone who would
dance to the day. So he began to walk faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man
and the young man wasn't dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore,
picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean.

As he got closer he called out, "Good morning! What are you doing?"
The young man paused, looked up and replied, "Throwing starfish in the ocean."

"The wise man then asked, "Why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?"

"The sun is up and the tide is going out. And if I don't throw them in they'll die."

"But, young man, don't you realize that there are miles and miles of beach
and starfish all along it. You can't possibly make a difference!"

The young man listened politely. Then bent down, picked up another starfish
and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves and said-
"It made a difference for that one."


I love this poem and I know that many of you have read it before. But yesterday, it meant so much more.

As I mentioned in my previous post, everything that is going on in the world is just really getting to me. Recently, I have spoken to a few people and listened to their thoughts on all these issues. It struck me how easy it is to get wrapped up in our own lives when we aren't affected by all these tragedies.

One of the people I was speaking to was my Mom. As you all know, I love my Mom so very much and do respect her opinion, but sometimes we just don't see eye to eye.

After telling her how I felt and how it drives me crazy that we are so blessed and how we take so much for granted, she responded with "Ohilda, one person can't make a difference in this world. What you have done adopting the kids is a beautiful thing, but you've done your job. You can't change the world." I was stunned. I felt my heart sink upon hearing those words. I then said, "That's not true. Kai is one person. A child at that. And God used him to change Ily & Herb's (my sister and BIL) heart and opened it up to adoption. She replied with, "Well, that's Kai. He's a special little boy." Hmmm....then I said, "How about Mother Theresa?" She replied, "Mother Theresa is Mother Theresa." She proceeded by saying, "Unfortunately, you have to live in this world, not in the world that you think it to should be."

That cut through me like a knife. First, our adoptions weren't, aren't and never will be a "job". We are blessed to have been called by God to be the parents of these babies. We were obedient to that calling. While yes, the children are definitely living in a much better situation then they were previously in, there is no doubt we are the ones blessed by that obedience.

I then stopped and said to her, "No, I don't have to live in this world. I don't want to live in this world." I reminded her of the very first scripture that the Lord led me to when He began to reveal His plan of adoption for our lives. James 1:27 - "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

To keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
I struggle every single day to do this. To not allow the evil of the world to fill my heart, but instead I am always asking myself, "What would Jesus do?" I pray daily that the Lord grace me with wisdom that my children can see my actions towards others and learn that actions speak louder than words, and more importantly, to give God the glory and honor for any accomplishments they achieve.


S
hortly afterwards, I hung up and felt a black cloud hovering over me. I felt like I was standing before a fork in the road. Her words left me quite distraught and afterwards I was thinking, "Maybe she's right. Maybe I should turn the other cheek. Maybe I've done what I could, but I could never change the world. So, I should stop trying." But those thoughts bothered me even more. I thought about her words all afternoon. They ominously lingered in my mind.

Later that night, Scott came home and I said to him, "Do you think that one person can make a difference in this world?" He said, "Absolutely!". He then reminded me that one person can make a difference in both good and evil. For instance, Jesus was a man on earth and he completely changed the world. But also, Adolph Hitler was one man and he, too, completely changed the world. "Yes" Scott said, "one person can make a difference in this world." Boy, do I love that man! I felt much better after praying and hearing my husband's words of reassurance. And I was reminded of again of how quickly Satan can try and creep into whatever may bring glory to our God.

This morning, after speaking to my sister and telling her about what had transpired, I found an email from her in my inbox saying, "CHECK OUT THE DEVOTIONAL READING FOR TODAY. EXACTLY WHAT WE WERE TALKING ABOUT. FAITH WITHOUT GOOD WORKS IS DEAD!!! KEEP BELIEVING AND TRUSTING AND GET TO WORK GIRL !!!!" A definite affirmation from God! Thank you, Jesus!

Here was today's scripture and devotional reading. Amazing, huh? Don't allow yourself to be caught up in this world. Remember, this is only temporary, while we may never have the mansions, extravagant jewels and fancy cars, our rewards await us in the most magnificent kingdom you could ever imagine. It is then, and only then, that I wish to live as a princess in my Father's castle.

Today's Scripture:

“Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness” (Galatians 3:6).

Today's word:
So many people today are looking for ways to be righteous or to be in “right standing” with God. The Bible simply says that when we believe God, that’s righteousness. The proof, or evidence, of our faith in Him is found in our actions. The Bible says that faith without works is dead. That means, when we really believe something, our actions will support what we believe. Because Abraham believed God, he obeyed His word and left his father’s land even when he didn’t even know where he was going.

In the same way, when we believe God, we have to leave some things behind in order to embrace the new life He has in store. As you let go of the old and, by faith, embrace God’s promises, know that He is leading you down paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake! Keep believing, keep stepping out, knowing that your best days are ahead of you. As you follow His leading, you’ll walk in righteousness and live the abundant life He has in store for you."


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11 comments :

The Ferrill's said...

Oh I love this Ohilda! Yes, we store up treasures in heaven which thieves do not steal and moth and rust do not destroy...for where our treasure is, there our heart will be also!
Thank you for encouraging and reminding us all to store up those treasures in heaven and keep making a difference!
I LOVE the starfish poem, too. I just got all my kiddos starfish shirts to benefit the starfish foster home in China. My friend Lisa at youngpartyoffive.blogspot.com
is making them as a fundraiser. I forgot about the starfish poem that fits right along with that!
Great post!

The Ferrill's said...

Ohilda...we follow so many of the same blogs! I have just caught up on some of them and you have commented on almost every one! We need to have a blogging convention so we can all meet! ;)

The Princess's Mommy said...

Ohilda,
Of course one person can make a difference in this world...you already have. Look at all the people who read your blog and are inspired by your honesty. Look at your beautiful children and how well they have adjusted. You will probably never know the impact you have had in the lives of others, but God knows and you will be richly rewarded! I really believe that! You keep on doing what you are doing, my amazing friend! I think you are awesome!!
Love,
Monica

waiting4Isabella said...

Great post !!!!! Don't we serve an AWESOME GOD..... Boy - I LOVE THAT MAN.............

Charlotte said...

Ohilda,

There are two people in this world ~ those who get adoption and those who don't. And the don't never will get it ! Talk to those who get it !

I get it, got it and never will let it go !

Charlotte and crew

Charlotte said...

Oh, and check my blog too, go see my friend in China now getting her albino son ! It was because I took the leap to adopt an albino child, that it gave her the leap too ! And there is another family I know from Harrah's, they adopted a boy after I adopted a boy and it wasn't so bad !

Ohilda, your blog touches so many lives !

Charlotte and crew

Aus said...

Hey Guys - we've been down that road with both adoptions - comments from family trying to convince us that our older three are sucesses and we've done our job, so it's time to relax now - to a sigh from Mom with a 'well you can't live your kids lives for them' - and worse! It was worse during the first - but still goes on. But - through Faith and the support of our kids we continued on our path.

You have been a great support to Marie and I (and many others) - and while this isn't about 'swapping favors' - let us support you for a moment - Whatever decision YOU choose to make for YOUR FAMILY is the correct choice, not governed - nor should it be influenced by - anyone but YOU (that's the plural YOU BTW).
You will have our ongoing prayers and support on your journey as you live your lives according to His Will - and our undying support and love!
Ya'll just keep on keeping on - one little starfish at a time!
Hugs
Aus and family

Holly said...

Ohilda, Ohilda! God loves you so very much! You are so precious to Him and He is constantly at work in your life, speaking to you, ministering to you and leading you.
What a blessing to watch Him at work in your life!
Sometimes the enemy uses words of those closest to us to cause us to doubt the plans that God has for us. It doesn't make our family or friends bad, but what they say and or do can be used for the enemy's purposes just as they can be used for the Lord's. I'm so thrilled to hear how God lifted your cloud of doubt through your husband, sister and devotional. He truly desires for us to abide in Him every day and when we do, He takes care of all the details!
One person CAN make a difference- in SO many ways. Outside of the lives of your own children, just think about the lives you have impacted for HIS glory through your blog! That's not counting those with whom you've conversed briefly at a grocery store, or your kids' school or people that you have invited into your circle and called friends... the list just goes on and on. YOU- Ohilda are making a difference for the kingdom of God EVERY single day.
Don't ever let the enemy make you think that because the world is so filled with sin that you are too small to do a thing about it. You may be small, but YOUR GOD is mighty and HIS POWER is made perfect in your weakness! He is amazing!!
Praises to the One who is able to keep us from falling,
Love,
Holly

My3Monkeys said...

O, you changed our world! If it weren't for you and sweet Kai, we would never have been blessed enough to have our first little monkey! You were one of the people who ispired me to look at the SN children and boys! And, well, you know where I am with being on the other side of the world from my family when it comes to our adoptions. Hang in there. YOU HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE!!

Greg and Steph said...

Your blog is a blessing!
I truly believe that God has put us here, in this moment, to make a difference.
You make a difference! You have encouraged and challenged me!
Thank you!
Steph

Bella's mama said...

What a blessing this post was to be. I have been asking myself for months with a heavy heart, "do I make a difference in the world?" Thank you for this post.

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