God is "able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think..." (Ephesians 3:20)
Prayer is always answered one way or another but the kind of answer I like best is prayer that works a miracle. I know of one such case right now. My friend Vonda is adopting two children from Haiti, a brother and sister. It was quite remarkable that they got out of the country after the recent earthquake considering their adoption was just beginning to process before it. Now they are safe and sound here in America. That’s not the miracle though.
Let’s back up. Vonda took a mission trip to Haiti with her church a week before the devastating quake struck but she deliberately took a back seat role for a reason I’ll explain shortly. That ended up being the perfect set up for God to arrange her meeting and bonding with two separate children. She only found out later they were siblings.
She returned to America with her heart torn, wanting very much to keep track of these children in the future. As drawn as she was however, she couldn’t see what could come of it. After all, she already had adopted a four-year-old daughter the year before and they were still adjusting. Money was so tight Vonda was basically living on faith as it was. Her little daughter had not been too keen on the trip to begin with. She wondered if her mom would love the Haitian children better than her. So that’s why Vonda deliberately took a role behind the scenes—when the trip was over no pictures would show up of her loving on the orphans at the mission.
A Major Shift
Let’s back up still further. A major shift was needed before Vonda could ever have contemplated the possibility of adoption at all. It simply wasn’t on her radar until she was challenged by a friend to ask God if she should consider it. Then she attended a conference in which a speaker said something that seared her heart. He told the audience that Christians needed to do more than speak out against evil; they needed to be willing to be part of the solution. Rather than simply oppose abortion for instance, would they adopt those babies of women who didn’t abort?
Vonda opened her heart and said “Okay Lord, if you call me to it I’m willing!” So began the process of looking into adoption in her own locality and training first to be a foster parent. Then she received her first little girl who was available for permanent placement. Adoption number one. Vonda’s faith grew as she saw God put together details the way only he can. All of it prepared her well for his next challenge to her: international adoption in the chaos after a major earthquake under the most adverse circumstances.
You could say that God worked hundreds of miracles these last few years and you’d be right. But none of them is the one I’m talking about. Wait, I’m getting there. I’d like to go back to a prayer that I think seeded all the rest of the miracles. Our clue was in a name.
Miracle in a name
Vonda delightedly told everyone the meaning of the name of the little girl from Haiti: Christilove—literally “the love of Christ.” The boy, however, was usually called by his surname for some reason but his given name was “Dieubon.” Nothing was mentioned about that. I began to think and the next time we got together I said, “Vonda, do you know what Dieubon means? It means God is good.” My old high school Latin was coming in handy after all these years.
Bingo! We knew these kids didn’t acquire names like that off the shelf. Neither is a common name in Haiti. At that point, even without knowing anything about their background it seemed certain their mother was a Christian and wanted their names to reflect her faith and their future. “I’ll bet you anything they had a praying mother, Vonda, and you are the answer to her prayer.”
The next time Vonda returned to Haiti she found out it was true. Dieubon and Christilove’s mother was indeed still alive. She had brought the two to the orphanage when their father died and she could no longer support them. She visited when she could and the main thing is that she had prayed for them—for a great miracle for their future. Would she be willing to give them up for adoption and allow them to go to America? Oh YES she would!
Vonda got to spend quite a bit of time with this remarkable mother and to marvel at both her faith and her sacrifice. She had always trusted God for her children when everything in their circumstances would have denied a good outcome. But she believed in the “love of Christ” and she believed that “God is good.” Her Heavenly Father scooped up her simple little prayer and started to work.
Prayer that requires time
Most times when we pray we want a speedy answer. We want it NOW. But some prayers require time to come to fruition. God may say, “yes” the moment our prayer hits his throne but we won’t see it on earth until he first gets lots of things lined up and in place. That’s the gestation period. I can imagine the Lord looking down, picking Vonda as his answer for the praying mother, and then going through all his “but first I’ll have to…”
It was a miracle that Vonda went to Haiti before the earthquake and fell in love with Dieubon and Christilove. It was a miracle that not one child in the orphanage compound was injured during the quake and that the water from their well was only interrupted briefly. It was a miracle that all the impossible paperwork was prepared so fast, even including obtaining the children’s father’s death certificate. It was a miracle that finances for this expensive undertaking showed up like clockwork.
Yes, all those things and so many more that I don’t have time to mention were truly miraculous. But the real miracle that set it all in motion was a mother’s prayer. Now let’s turn to you.
I wonder if you once prayed for something but have yet to see even the hint of an answer? That prayer did reach his throne room but perhaps your “but first I’ll have to…s” are not all in order. Remember about the love of Christ and remember that God is good. In those two things alone are the making of a great miracle yet to come.
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