Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Story That Moved Me...

This was a moving story that I just had to share, below are my favorite parts (read the entire story here from "Take Your Vitamin Z" Blog):

"...After about 24 hours (after the Brown family decided to adopt this baby still in the womb) they found out that Matt had a rare condition known as hydranencephaly. This is a brain disorder where the brain fails to develop correctly. The front part of the brain is fluid instead of functioning tissue. The disease is a terminal, which gave Matt roughly 4-12 months to live. This condition technically deemed him unadoptable; normally one with this condition would become the property of the state where he would be institutionalized and made comfortable until he passed.

This placed the Browns in a very difficult situation. Do they go the hard road of the cross, knowing the gut-wrenching pain that would soon ensue from having to watch this child die or should they turn him back over to the state? They chose the former and I know today they can joyfully say with tears in their eyes that without a doubt that the phrase "it was worth it" doesn't do justice. It was beyond "worth it". It was true Christianity in action and provides a bittersweet joy that is beyond words.

My wife and I have learned much from the Browns. Oh how I long for more families like them! What would it look like in our culture of death for more Christians to be willing to take the hard road of the cross and lay down their lives for the poor, weak and defenseless...

...This section from one of their blog posts was especially moving for me. I think it will encourage you as well:
Matt doesn't respond positively to all the love and care we shower on him, and despite the fact that I knew in my head he wouldn't, I still want him to smile back at me. Instead of smiling, he either stares at me blankly or screams in response to my best efforts to communicate with him. The discouragment I feel at his failure to thrive only evidences the selfishness of my endeavors. Before Matt, I was tempted to believe I loved my children with at least an inkling of selflessness. I now know that I expect at least some return for my investment. At the very least, I would like a two-month smile and a 3-month squeal of delight in response for the long nights and endless feedings. I am humbled further to think of the earthly reward I am tempted to expect from my older children. Each day with Matt, it looks more and more like all of our reward is being deposited in heaven (or not, because God loves a cheerful giver, and sometimes, I am just not). Frankly, I am not all that happy about the choice of accounts. While I may have previously thought I wanted to deposit all of my treasure in heaven, I now know I am more or a 50/50 or even 75/25 kind of girl; I would like some treasure in heaven and most of it here.

It may be this very realization of further indwelling sin that God seeks to remedy in part through our love of Matt. I once thought we were called to care for orphans and widows in their distress because by caring for them, we would see buckets of fruit in our own lives. I now believe, we are called to selfless acts because in our attempt to selflessness, our selifishness is exposed. I am utterly incapable of selfless love apart from Christ at work in me. So, exposed and helpless in the wake of selfishness, we have no choice but to rest completely in Christ for salvation. By faith alone, we are saved. Through our attempts at "good" works, we become all the more aware of our need for salvation. Praise God that His grace and love cover us completely and instill in us the hope of heaven!

It is sin to seek self above the good that God has willed for our lives. Sin seprates us from the love that Christ has for us. It is this very separation--the separation that death embodies--that Christ died to overcome. Death stinks. We all hate it, but God more than hated death. He did something about it. Jesus came to overcome death once and for all at the cross. Our hope isn't in life now. Our hope, like it or not, is in heaven. Our hope is not in miracle cures, our hope is in a sound doctrine of suffering that begins and ends in the cross.

So, I am thankful for Matt because he has further exposed the blackness in my heart and my need for the the forgiveness found in Jesus. I am sick because I seek physical healing, signs and wonders, rather than the One to whom the signs point. Jesus is our hope. Spiritual healing is our calling and our destiny in Christ. Someday I will watch Matt run and play and laugh. Until we finally make it home, we rest in His finished work and long for its realization in heaven..."

(read the entire story here from "Take Your Vitamin Z" Blog)

Here is the link to the families blog.

Soli Deo Gloria!

jason d.


Stephanie Rohloff said...

Oh how true it is, that in our 'selflessness we see our selfishness' instead. Oh how true it is. I have learned that more and more everyday in my struggle as a foster Mom...I say struggle as a foster Mom, because I struggled to simply be that, I wanted to be an adoptive Mom more then a foster. Although I 'wanted' very deeply to foster, and care for orphans...I learned quickly with the first kick to my face, in an effort to show care and love to my child that I was out for my own good before theirs (my own good being a family of my own)...I learned also that these children who quickly forgot the world they once lived in and were comfortable with their new cozy life, comfy enough to scream "Go Away!" when you are trying to help them, that they are much like we are to our Father in Heaven. Oh how, quickly we forget the awesomeness of His Great Grace and Mercy and push our loving Father away and turn to idols and houses built on sand.

Such an amazing story, this one left me in tears and has reminded me there is a greater reason then even I can fathom to understand that I get up in the morning and love these children that are not my own.
Thank you for the post.

Jason and Vanessa said...

Amen Steph!

You are welcome, this story was greatly humbling to me as well.

Soli Deo Gloria!

jason d.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this story. I commented on the "vitamin Z" blog about it.
My husband is a pediatrician who has served God in that capacity for 28 years now. We have 2 married children and 5 grandchildren, 2 of whom are in heaven, and 3 are still here in our arms. They are an 11 month old, and twins that are 6 weeks old.
I have been following your blog for a few weeks now. It has been a great blessing to me. Thank you for sharing with others about your walk with the Lord. Your family is beautiful and I am praying for you all. I especially have been blessed by the grace that the Lord has bestowed on you all in the joys and sorrows of your life. He does reveal Himself to us in the trials we go through and the dross He burns off in the process, so that we come forth as refined gold in our sanctification. I pray the joy of the Lord shines forth in you all as you continue to serve Him with all your heart!
Blessings in abundance to you from our Lord Jesus Christ!