We found out this morning via email that our court date in Uganda has been scheduled for April 4th! This is a three week trip where we fly to Uganda and stand before a Ugandan judge who decides if we’re fit parents to adopt Judah. If he judges that we are, we’ll take Judah to an East African doctor to get him checked out and we’ll get him a visa so that he can enter the United States. I’m not sure what else our trip will involve and we don’t know yet how long Cindi will have to stay and how long I’ll be able to stay (there’s a decent chance of the court date getting postponed once we’re there), but so many people have been waiting and praying for this step of the process and we’re all praising the Lord together for baring His mighty arm and bringing our adoption one step closer to completion. The temptation will be to stop praying under the assumption that God has done what we could not do and is now no longer needed. That would be a mistake. My prayer is that we would remain steadfast in prayer, leaning on Him not only for the things that seem impossible but also for the things that seem inevitable.
As I drove to seminary this morning down I-5, I called as many people as I could to let them know. As I called friend after friend (mostly leaving messages), I realized that I was saying at least one thing over and over again: “Thank you for praying.” In between calls, I paused, and one question hit me: I wonder how many prayers it took?
I’m not sure if that’s a good, biblical question to ask, but it was the question that was on my mind. I wonder how many prayers God wanted to hear before answering? I wonder how loud He wanted the chorus of dependence and submission to get before showing that He was listening with pleasure all along? Would it be worth it if one young couple longing for their baby boy to come home was told to wait so that the prayers and faith and patience of hundreds of believers would be stretched and challenged and multiplied? Because I know that that many people (and more) were praying. Was my waiting worth your growth? I say that it was.
I wonder how many prayers would not have been offered, how much faith would not have been exercised, how much patience would not have been grown, and how much providence would not have been seen if God had simply answered the first prayer for a court date that we uttered months ago? Would we thank God as much today if we did not have our one hundred yesterdays of waiting? Would the intensity of rejoicing be the same if the intensity of waiting were lessened? Would I raise my hands in praise if He hadn’t brought me to my knees in prayer?
Today we drew one step closer to bringing our son home. That is cause for great happiness, and we are greatly happy. But we also drew closer to the Lord. Because I learned something today. I learned that the Lord loves to multiply prayer because prayer multiplies the echo of His glory. And if He calls me to lay down my desires on the altar of trial so that faith might burn brighter, I will say, “Your will be done.” What else is there to say? Certainly God does all things well.
Judah, I’m glad you’re still a little guy. But when you get older, oh, the stories we’ll tell!