Saturday, January 4, 2014

Isaiah 49

I had mentioned in my second post that on July 12, 2013 God had placed Isaiah 49 on my heart. And I was thinking about it yesterday, so I thought I'd elaborate. 

Once I felt God leading us toward adoption, I was talking to a friend and minister's wife, who had also adopted. One thing I said was that I was staying away from all verses having to deal with adoption, orphans and "father to the fatherless" in the Bible. I felt like it was too easy for me in our situation then to spin words to make them what I wanted them to say. "Hey Kirk, it says right here we should look after orphans! Let's adopt!" And I knew God was able to show me through other ways. 

July 12, I was on Pinterest and looking at Kendall Keepsake ideas and ran across this this picture: 

There are certain verses that most mothers that know they will lose a child cling to, and that was one that I had seen more than once, but I decided I wanted to read more of the verses around it. Many people think that the Bible is outdated and doesn't apply to their lives in today's world. But I know they are stories that God uses to work in our lives today. Just in a different way, not always literal. 
So I read- 
Isaiah 49
Listen to me, O coastlands,
    and give attention, you peoples from afar.
The Lord called me from the womb,
    from the body of my mother he named my name.

And stopped. Another popular verse with unborn children and the fight to encourage women to carry to term no matter the circumstance. That every child is known by the Lord and given purpose. And continued...

He made my mouth like a sharp sword;
    in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow;
    in his quiver he hid me away.
And he said to me, “You are my servant,
    Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”[a]
But I said, “I have labored in vain;
    I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my right is with the Lord,
    and my recompense with my God.”

And now the Lord says,
    he who formed me from the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him;
    and that Israel might be gathered to him—
for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord,
    and my God has become my strength—
he says:
“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
    to raise up the tribes of Jacob
    and to bring back the preserved of Israel;
I will make you as a light for the nations,
    that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

Thus says the Lord,
    the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,
to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nation,
    the servant of rulers:
“Kings shall see and arise;
    princes, and they shall prostrate themselves;
because of the Lord, who is faithful,
    the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”

The Restoration of Israel
Thus says the Lord:
“In a time of favor I have answered you;
    in a day of salvation I have helped you;
I will keep you and give you
    as a covenant to the people,
to establish the land,
    to apportion the desolate heritages,
saying to the prisoners, ‘Come out,’
    to those who are in darkness, ‘Appear.’
They shall feed along the ways;
    on all bare heights shall be their pasture;
10 they shall not hunger or thirst,
    neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them,
for he who has pity on them will lead them,
    and by springs of water will guide them.
11 And I will make all my mountains a road,
    and my highways shall be raised up.
12 Behold, these shall come from afar,
    and behold, these from the north and from the west,[b]
    and these from the land of Syene.”[c]

13 Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth;
    break forth, O mountains, into singing!
For the Lord has comforted his people
    and will have compassion on his afflicted.

14 But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me;
    my Lord has forgotten me.”

15 Can a woman forget her nursing child,
    that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget,
    yet I will not forget you.

And so my thought process was thinking still on the KKF and life without a child and our situation and Kendall. 

16 Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
    your walls are continually before me.

17 Your builders make haste;[d]
    your destroyers and those who laid you waste go out from you.
18 Lift up your eyes around and see;
    they all gather, they come to you.
As I live, declares the Lord,
    you shall put them all on as an ornament;
    you shall bind them on as a bride does.

19 “Surely your waste and your desolate places
    and your devastated land—
surely now you will be too narrow for your inhabitants,
    and those who swallowed you up will be far away.
20 The children of your bereavement

A word that I had never used till the loss of Kendall. People always ask why there isn't a one word description for a grieving parent like there is an orphan or widow.

    will yet say in your ears:
‘The place is too narrow for me;
    make room for me to dwell in.’
2Then you will say in your heart:
    ‘Who has borne me these?
I was bereaved and barren,
    exiled and put away,
    but who has brought up these?
Behold, I was left alone;
    from where have these come?’”

We were in a place where we still wanted a child, but after our miscarriage and other family burdens, we were asking how much pain would we put ourselves through before we call it quits. I had already closed the door temporarily with birth control, so I was wondering where/if this child might come?  I don't only grieve for Kendall and the twins, but for a child I still wanted to love but might never get a chance to and for myself- the old me that will never come back. And then on top of all that, for Kirk's brother. 
And there it was. The verse where God spoke directly to me without looking up anything specific to adoption:

22 Thus says the Lord God:
“Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations,
    and raise my signal to the peoples;
and they shall bring your sons in their arms,[e]
    and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.

And then I knew. I wasn't making it up in my own head, trying to come up with some way to twist words like James 1:27. I hadn't talked to Kirk about adoption till this point because I knew the place where he was after the loss of his brother and I needed to be able to present it to him as from God and not completely my own. This is when God said, "Go ahead, I got this."

23 Kings shall be your foster fathers,
    and their queens your nursing mothers.
With their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you,
    and lick the dust of your feet.
Then you will know that I am the Lord;
    those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.”

24 Can the prey be taken from the mighty,
    or the captives of a tyrant[f] be rescued?
25 For thus says the Lord:
“Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken,
    and the prey of the tyrant be rescued,
for I will contend with those who contend with you,
    and I will save your children.
26 I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh,
    and they shall be drunk with their own blood as with wine.
Then all flesh shall know
    that I am the Lord your Savior,
    and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”

He didn't close the door. He just changed our path. And I wish I could run down it as fast as I can. But we will take it one day at a time, just like a bereaved parent does.

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