Tougher to practice than to preach
Most who know our family well are aware that Chad isn’t our biological son. He is actually my cousin, via adoption. My maternal grandparents adopted 5 children when they were in their 60s. The youngest child is Chad’s birth mother.
I have already written an article about Chad coming to live with us, but today it clicked inside me that I hadn’t shared about the time when we thought we would lose him. I thought that maybe this might help someone or help someone help a friend who is struggling with WHY GOD? Too often we face a situation when the outcome looks bleak at best. In those times we look for answers, but sometimes no answer comes. That is when we struggle.
Here are the lyrics of a little song I wrote one day when I was really struggling with the probability of losing Chad. See if it clicks with some of your struggles.
Poor Little Boy
Life was meant to be full of those who love him
But he found almost none of that.
Mom was too busy with boyfriends and lovers;
And “stuff” which made her numb and flat,
Often he would tremble and tell a story
‘Bout being left so all alone.
Then we’d tell him that we would never leave him
And hold him tight to calm his moans.
Poor Little boy in the Mickey Mouse shirt
What did he ever do so bad?
Poor little boy in the Mickey Mouse shirt
Why does he have to be so sad?
All he ever wanted from those around him
Was lots of tender, caring love.
Now it’s time to practice having total faith
In my Father God above.
When we saw him first it was at my grandmas,
Mom had left him with a man.
When she didn’t come back to get her baby
‘Twas plain that she took off and ran.
At our home he first felt a little funny
And missed his grandma oh so much,
But never did he talk in all those three years
Of mama’s soft and loving touch.
Now we face a time that we cannot alter
Our hearts are full of hurt and pain.
Mama wants him back and we cannot fight it.
Despite what is best is plain.
All that we can do is ask our Father
To hold him firm within His hand,
And know that we will all once again be family
At home up in that better land.
These past months have gone by in a blink,
We’ve had so much fun and joy.
Birthdays and Christmas and playin’ baseball,
And wrestling with my little boy.
Riding his bike and pushing that scooter
With Scotty riding by his side.
We’ll never forget all the joy he brought us
Our memories take us back in time.
Oh, I know that the lyrics are no masterpiece, maybe even kind of corny, but they describe clearly where my mind and heart were that day back in Ontario, Oregon. The State Child Welfare Agency had called and said that they were looking at granting a request from the birth mom for custody. I argued with the case worker, but didn’t seem to get anywhere. Shari was at work, Christina & Jeff were at school and it was just Chad and me at the house. He was playing out in the yard and was wearing his favorite shirt - his navy blue Mickey Mouse shirt. I opened the drapes and just watched him outside playing. All I could think about was what it would be like to have to give him away. The more I stared at him playing and at the shirt, the more words started popping into my head. That is when I wrote the lyrics.
As you can tell from the lyrics, I didn’t have much hope that God would intervene and leave Chad with us. But He did. PTL! In the end what God used to turn the judgment of the case worker was that if they left Chad with us, it would cost them nothing. They had been bouncing us back and forth between Family Services and Children’s Services. The bottom line was that each refused any financial assistance, saying that it was the other’s duty, not theirs. So our situation became a financial matter for the Oregon State government. I really didn’t care why or how, just that Chad got to stay with us.
So what is the point? All of us, sooner or later, get smacked in the face by this fallen world. It is at those times we really prove whether we are a child of faith or not. It isn’t on the wonderful days of blessings and prosperity and joy. We prove the reality of our faith on the dark days, the seemingly hopeless times. And those times are always filled with pain.
That day in Ontario all I knew to do was hand Chad off to God. I had made every phone call I could; there just wasn’t anyone else to turn to. Did you hear that? Sad that I had to exhaust my resources before I really handed Chad off to God. It was only when there were no more options that I really gave Chad to God. I gave up and cried out for help and God rescued our family.
Turn whatever has smacked you in the face over to God. Right now! Don’t wait another second. Come on, do it! Don’t be an idiot like I was and wait until you are out of options, give it to Him now. God often stands ready to rescue us if we will just cry out for help and admit that we can’t do it. Don’t let God’s rescue pass you by. Cry out, right now.
Mike Sublett is a pastor at Hi-Land Christian Church, 1615 N. Banks St., Pampa, Texas 79065. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.