The pictures arrived in my inbox on Friday at 5:10 pm. I was busy self-medicating with British TV, Diet Coke, and dark chocolate M&M’s. Because that’s what adoptive moms do when their kids are isolated in orphanages 8,000 miles away from them and they have zero control over the situation and they know it.
We eat, we drink, we run, we write. We do whatever mindless thing is needed to maintain our sanity while enduring the next moment without our kids.
My man had his serious, no nonsense, little professor expression on again in this monthly set of pictures. Although, to be fair, at this point it may just be his expression. How would I know?
Because on paper I am only his almost mother. A woman with a referral but no legal rights to a kid with almost no protection in a world that would most certainly exploit him if given a smidgen of opportunity. A woman who knows that her son’s papers are sitting on some bureaucrat’s desk waiting for a signature of release.
And all of these truths drive me deeper into the bag of M&M’s.
But these truths also drive me to the Father. And we talk.
Honestly, it’s mostly me demanding these days.
Begging, pleading for intervention from the God who controls all things. Every single day (multiple times a day) I petition the throne for help. Every day I approach with a confidence that I do not always feel. Then I check my email another 6,103 times for any notice that announces we have a court date. A travel date. Any date. I will take any movement at all. Lord Jesus we need movement.
But there is none.
My great God of the heavens is silent.
And I know that this is one of his Great Silences.
The same kind of great silence that the disciples endured from sundown Friday night until sunup on Sunday morning. The deafening silence that sent them back to their homes reeling in grief. The maddening silence that came from witnessing their Savior, their Messiah, their God with us himself be crucified before their unbelieving eyes. The torturing silence that descended when they lowered his body into the tomb as every hope they ever had for the kingdom to come down was dashed to the earth like yesterday’s imperfect pottery. It is only now that I can begin to comprehend that kind of silence.
Because I am living in it.
I am living in the void that is created when God is working but I am not privy to his plans. The space where his mystery is greater than my understanding.
And this momma is weary. (Friends, there would be something wrong with me if I wasn’t.)
So, I won’t sit here and tell you that I’m enjoying this pain. It is not a lovely thing to walk where you cannot see. I’m sure some of you know this already.
It is scary. It is real. It is unknown.
But I will tell you what I know to be true when the vastness that is this great silence threatens to unhinge me from my anchor.
God does his best work in silence.
Because on that quiet Sabbath, while everybody else was busy mourning Christ, God was busy resurrecting him. The Father was conquering death so that no one need worry about walking through the great silences of life alone again. At sunrise that Sunday morning God made us heirs of the promise when he completed the most significant work he had ever begun by reconciling us to him through the blood of Christ. (Eph 3:6) We claim a citizenship that even the angels of Heaven cannot.
So I will trust him.
However painful this great silence of ours may be, it will not end me. However rough the days may feel or unpredictable this journey with him gets to be I’m going to choose to trust that in the silences he is still working.
Perhaps you too are enduring a silence of your own. Maybe the grief will not end or the chemotherapy is not working. And your walk seems very quiet right now. And you are wondering where this great God who claims to love you can be when each breath you draw is more painful than the last.
Let me encourage you friend to hold fast to the God whose love for you is unfailing. Christ is with you always. There is not a step you are taking that he is not taking with you. (Jeremiah 31:3, Matt 28:20)
Trust that although you cannot see him moving, he moves.
And remember, when Sunday morning comes nothing will stop the work of the resurrected King.