The Long Road

by Sam Ward

We are still sleep-deprived and happy after the birth of our son.  He was born two weeks ago so I've have had a small amount of time (mostly around 3 AM in the morning) to reflect on what God has been up to over the last two years.

When we started this journey, we thought that we would have a baby in a year.  Then, at the end of 2015, we had a meeting with a birth mom and ended up in the hospital with her caring for a baby.  As you know, we didn't come home with that baby, but also knew that God had other plans.  Later in April, it happened all over again and we began to wonder.  I didn't say much out loud, but in my spirit I was murmuring and complaining just like the Israelites in the wilderness.  "God, if you loved us so much, why did you place this desire for another baby in our hearts, give us so much support from our community and then leave us to wander around without one for a whole year?  Why?"

It came to a head towards the end of the year when a well meaning person asked about our adoption process.  I explained everything that had happened and that we were still waiting for the "right baby for us".

"How do you know that this is God's will for you?" she asked innocently.

At first, I was taken aback, but I stammered an answer about Sara and I praying about it separately and then coming together with the same desire.  I talked about how we had the support of our family, friends and church community.  I also talked about the amazing financial gifts and messages from all over the country that had surprised and overwhelmed us.

But even as I talked, I wondered the same thing.  Had we missed something?

Now that Zion is born and in our home, it's easier to talk about this journey.  It's easier to admit that like the Israelites, my tendency is to doubt God.  I am "prone to wander".  But, I also see God's grace in taking us around by the long, desert road.

God knew that I would have these doubts so he gave us the story of the Israelites leaving Egypt.  They had just seen God show off his power through the plagues and the death of all the first borns in Egypt.  And yet Moses writes this:

When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter.  For God said, 'If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.'  So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. -Exodus 13:17-18a NIV

We know how that turns out, don't we?  God shows up again and parts the Red Sea so the people walk through on dry ground.

What strikes me, is that God knew that the Israelites couldn't handle the short road so he took them down the long road.  He took them down the road so they could learn to trust and wait on the Lord.  He took them down the long road so they could learn again and again that he would never leave them or forsake them.  The took them down the long road so they could truly see His glory and learn his direction for their lives.  He took them down the long road because they weren't ready...

And I wasn't ready.

It was God's grace and mercy that he made us wait 2+ years for this little boy.

It was God's grace that he led us around by the long road.

**Photo credits go to Abbie Phillips Pebble of Delivering Memories {Photography}.  She is our cousin and offered to take these amazing photos of our little man.  Thank you, Abbie!

Posted in: General, Worship Arts Ministry

comments powered by Disqus