Here is a collection of good reads gathered from across the internet this past week. Enjoy!
On adoption: Adoption is Commitment by Joel Littlefield
Unlike a good dream where one hopes it never ends, adoption may not always feel that way. There may be days when tiredness gets the best of me, and physical and spiritual fatigue leaves my wife and me to sit on the couch at the end of the day and feel stuck. But God will meet us in that place. We will look each other in the eyes and remind each other that this is God’s work. It’s His calling on our lives and His heart for adoption. We cannot do this in our own strength.
I’m here to say that we didn’t pursue adoption because it sounded fun, or to be heroic, or to make a statement. We went down this long road because at the core of the Gospel is a Father’s heart for orphaned souls. God sought me before I ever knew He was coming for me. He knew my name, my birth, my whole life, my sin and the sin of my ancestors, and yet, He still ran to me in His perfect timing. He showered His grace upon me and said, “You’re mine. I died for you. I purchased you. I’ve adopted you as my own and no matter what you do I’m never going to leave you…ever.” (click here to read more)
On parenting / mothering: Christian Men and Their Godly Moms by Tim Challies
It may surprise us, though, to learn how many of our Christian heroes were shaped by the attentiveness and godliness of their mothers. Even though they may have had fathers who were present, involved, and godly, still they would insist that their primary spiritual influencer had been their mother. One of history’s greatest preachers would say with affection, “I am sure that, in my early youth, no teaching ever made such an impression upon my mind as the instruction of my mother,” while one of its most committed evangelists would say, “I learned more about Christianity from my mother than from all the theologians in England.” An eminent theologian would state, “To our mother, my brother and myself, under God, owe absolutely everything.” A great defender of the faith would write about an overwhelming moment of doubt, then relate how he found deliverance: “My mother [spoke to me] in those dark hours when the lamp burned dim, when I thought that faith was gone and shipwreck had been made of my soul. ‘Christ,’ she used to say, ‘keeps firmer hold on us than we keep on him’.” (click here to read more)
On grace and anxiety: Everything Is Going to be Okay by Matt Moore
I’m sure most of us are well acquainted with Romans 8:28: “And we know that for those who love God all things are working together for good.” The following verse defines for us exactly what this “good” is: “for those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29; emphasis mine). God works all things, including hard and painful things, together to make us like Christ—which is the greatest kindness he can do for us. Enjoying and reflecting the glory of Jesus is the ultimate purpose for which we were created. And as God fulfills this purpose in part through the refining fires of trials, our joy in him and love for him soar increasingly higher. We will always come out on the other side of difficult circumstances looking more like Christ and enjoying him more fully.
However, though I believe I will be okay when I exit trials, I do sometimes worry about how I will fare in the midst of them. I fear my joy and peace may completely dry up as I endure whatever painful situations lie ahead in my future. Will I have the emotional fortitude to not crumble under their weight? Will my soul be strong enough to enjoy and worship God amidst the suffering? Will God be good to me in the trials as he allows their fires to refine me? These are the questions I ask myself—the ones that cause me the most anxiety. (click here to read more)
On the little things in life: The Surprising Power of Little Things by Matt Rogers
The influence of little things can cause me to hyper-focus on every detail, thinking that if I can somehow control everything about my life then I can move toward my predetermined end. But, it doesn’t take long to realize the futility of this approach.
I can’t control my life—and neither can you. People do all sorts of things we can’t control. Life throws us curves we’d never anticipate. It’s just the way things are. Sometimes these little things work in our favor—propelling us further, faster than we once thought possible. Sometimes the little things work against us—derailing our plans before we ever begin. (click here to read more)