Saturday, July 30, 2011

Day 23 - Ben

This morning, we were surprised to learn that we'd be going to the transition home!  Usually we go to the TH in the afternoon on Sat. and we are only allowed one visit.  The Pfeifers came in this morning to pick up their little girl, so we got to go early!

Praise music poured out of the school room when we arrived.  The sound of African Children's voices singing songs like "Blessed Be the Name" by Matt Redman, and "Sing, Sing, Sing" by Chris Tomlin was so refreshing.  A tall, young Ethiopian walked out of the school room wearing a brown t-shirt with a large golden print of Africa in the middle.  Across it read a bible verse that I can't remember for the life of me, but I remember thinking, "He is a Christian."  He sat down and asked about Zane.  I told him where we were in the process, and I explained that we're waiting on a letter.  It seemed like he understood, but he had more to say.  He then explained that he was given to an orphanage 40 km outside of Addis when his mom died at 8 years old.  He told us he graduated from University and was teaching music to orphans now.  He was so proud to share his story.  I could tell that he that his pain was being used for God's glory.

Difficult times in our lives can seem hopeless.  I can't imagine the hopelessness he must have felt when his father told him, "I cannot take care of you anymore.  Your mom is gone, and I cannot feed you."  I wonder how an 8 year old processes such drastic change and the realization of abandonment.  Likewise, it's hard to imagine the pain of his father and the hopelessness he felt knowing that he can't even provide for his children.  What a seemingly impossible situation.

Ben, my new friend in the Lord, has experienced redemption.  Often we think of redemption as one moment in our lives where we receive God's grace and decide to give our lives to him, and it is definitely that.  But it is so much more.  God's redemption is eternal, constant, and it never returns void.  Every situation in our life is redeemed when we surrender it to the Lord.  The painful moment in Ben's life is a season that could have been wasted; a moment that could have forever been marked by loss, tormenting memories, depression, and growing bitterness.  If Ben hadn't trusted the Lord with his life, he may have turned out a very different man.  Praise God that Ben realizes that God does not leave us as orphans, He comes to us, rescues us, and makes every parts of our lives reflect His glory.

I think we all have a choice in this life to do as Ben has done or turn inwardly self-centered and angry with the hand we've been dealt.  The truth is that Satan is having his way in our lives if we do the latter.  The Great Redeemer waits to make all things good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.  He longs to restore what Satan took from you and more.  Ben is experiencing the glory that God reveals when He is allowed to restore loss in our lives.

I pray for Zane to understand God more than he understands his circumstances.  No one, by looking at their past, can resolve the question "why?"  I pray that Zane so personally knows God's redemption that his past becomes a story used for God's glory.  More than that, I pray his commitment and love for Jesus would pile more blessings upon him than he could ever think possible.  Though their be pain in life, I pray for the supernatural joy that come from Christ to permeate his entire being.

Revelation 21:4 "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

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