I have visited Haiti eight times since the devastating earthquake on January 12, 2010. I had no idea that an earthquake in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere would change my life forever. I shouldn’t be as shocked as I am since I know God is a Father who keeps his promises.
When Michelle and I were married eleven years ago, the first reading at our wedding was Isaiah 58:6-12 which talks about fasting from the steady diet of selfishness we often feed ourselves and instead by reaching out and serving others. In verse seven, the Holy Spirit inspired Isaiah to talk about fasting that includes sharing your bread with the hungry and “bringing the afflicted and the homeless into your house.” Olguine and David were those afflicted and homeless. I had no idea that God designed them for our family from the very beginning. This was not just a challenging scripture at our wedding but a promise that God wanted to fulfill in our lives and in his plan of salvation.
Now, we did not know exactly how God was going to fulfill the promises of Isaiah 58 in our lives but He did. When we were engaged and newly married, living a life of full-time missions, we had a sense that our family would be “colorful” through adoption. We thought it would come in the form children that we adopted while living in full-time missions in Latin America. We would be serving in a developing nation, take orphans into our home, adopt them while we were on mission and bring them home. That seemed doable to us. Haiti was no where on our radar. In fact, I even thought to my self, Haiti is the last place I would want to go for foreign missions. God probably laughed when I thought this because he knew what was coming. This happens often. God makes a promise. We interpret it in a way that makes sense to us but it is not until the promise is fulfilled that we look back and realize that God fulfilled his promise in his way and in his time.
The lesson for us is two-fold. One – God makes promises through scripture, prayer, and situations in our life. Two – Our job is to remember the promise, trust the promise, live in the promise and not try to figure out how God will fulfill it (because more often than not, we will undershoot God’s amazing plan). Olguine and David are absolutely perfect for our family. God knows. We can see that now – challenges and all. But we would not have chosen the path for ourselves. God knew that we were not ready for the whole picture so he revealed one small step at a time. Almost eleven years after our wedding and three years after the earthquake, our entire family gets to live with, grow with, love with God’s promise of taking the afflicted into our home everyday.
God makes promises to each of us. God keeps his promises – always.
How have you seen God fulfill a promise in your life? I encourage you to share that with someone you love.
What is God promising you? Spend some time in prayer with God’s word. Underline and write down a promise. Revisit that scripture weekly or monthly and allow the Lord to fulfill that promise in His way and in His time.