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
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
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."
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."
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.
Shortly 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.
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."