Announcer: Welcome to the Adopting and Fostering Home podcast. Whether your family has been on this journey for years or you’re just getting started, we’re here to support and encourage you along the way.
And now your hosts, Lynette Ezell and Tera Melber.
Lynette Ezell: Well, welcome back to the Adopting and Fostering Home podcast. You know, Tera, I was thinking about our conversation today and we’re talking about hitting spiritual walls, hitting walls in this process that just overwhelm you. In fostering and adopting.
Tera Melber: It is. It’s in both. You can have court dates that make you want to pull your hair out in the foster care system. You think you’re going one way and things turn out to go totally different. In the adoption process, waiting for a referral, having trouble after you get your referral …
Lynette Ezell: Just getting started, it’s hard.
Tera Melber: Just getting started, it’s so hard. So it can be a lot of spiritual warfare that we experience when we start this process.
Lynette Ezell: Absolutely. I really believe that the warfare intensifies in our marriages and our homes when we start the adoption process, or we begin to foster, because Satan, he hates children.
Tera Melber: Right.
Lynette Ezell: And he hates purity, and he wants to see their lives ruined and our lives ruined. So …
Tera Melber: We have to be prepared.
Lynette Ezell: We do have to be prepared. Sometimes when you hit a wall you can’t go over it, you can’t go around it, through it, and honestly, I feel like Kevin and I could write book on this. I know you and David feel the same way.
Tera Melber: Right.
Lynette Ezell: Charles Haddon Spurgeon said, “If God has helped you 65 times can you not depend on God for the 66th?” You know, I love to teach the Old Testament and I’m so encouraged by this story in 2 Chronicles 20 of King Jehoshaphat, when he hits a wall. Keep in mind, in our lives when we hit a wall we feel like we’re being surrounded, and King Jehoshaphat was surrounded, the Moabites, the Ammonites 00:01:53, even more Meunites 00:01:55 had declared war on Judah.
Verses three and four begin to reveal that Jehoshaphat, he’s completely alarmed. He doesn’t know what to do. He doesn’t know where to go. He resolves to inquire of the Lord and he proclaims just a time of fasting and seeking the Lord for all of Judah. And the people of Judah do, they come together, they seek help from the Lord. They come from every town in Judah to acknowledge him and proclaim the Lord’s power corporately. They come together, they seek community.
So, when faced with disaster, when the entire nation of Judah hit a wall, when my life hits a wall, when the process hits a wall, God asks us to call upon Him and to get serious with Him. Maybe even to wait, but to wait with focus.
Tera Melber: Right. So, what do we need to do with that information? We look for biblical examples of how others in the past were faithful, to seek hard after the Lord when they hit a wall. One of the things that you can do is to commit your need to God, acknowledging that God alone is in control and can take care of everything.
One of the quotes that Paul David Tripp states in his devotional book, “New Morning Mercies” is, “The inexhaustible Keeper is your help and strength. When weary run to Him.” Psalm 121 at the beginning says, “I lift my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made Heaven and Earth. He will not let your foot be moved. He who keeps you will not slumber.”
So, as we commit our need to God, we have to acknowledge that he alone is who we run to.
Lynette Ezell: Right, and just as Jehoshaphat did, he acknowledged that God alone could save Judah. Then the next thing he did is he sought God’s favor because his kingdom were God’s people. God gave him those people. Even in Chapter 20 verse 12, 2 Chronicles 20 verse 12, “The people of Judah say we do not know what to do but our eyes are on you.”
Tera Melber: How many times have you said that through this whole thing?
Lynette Ezell: I said it this morning.
Tera Melber: Yeah, me, too.
Lynette Ezell: Absolutely.
Tera Melber: If through parenting, through the journey of fostering or adopting through all of it, Lord, I don’t know what to do. But just help me keep my eyes on You. Because, we’ve said so many times before, that this whole journey is not just about having a forever family for a child or a forever family for a child, it is about the Lord doing something in every individual’s life through the process. So, there are gonna be lots of days, even after your kids come home, even if you have biological kids, in parenting, in your marriage you’re gonna say, “Lord, I don’t know what to do but just help me keep my eyes on You.” Because his purpose is to grow you into the likeness of His son.
Lynette Ezell: So many times Kevin will say to me when I’m concerned about one of the kids, he’ll say, “Lynette, this is not an adoption issue. This is just a parenting issue.”
Tera Melber: Right.
Lynette Ezell: This is an issue of their heart. Put aside adoption or they’re a foster child or that they’re a biological … you push that aside. This is just an issue between them and the Lord. He said this is not a parenting issue.
so, the third thing I wanted to share about Jehoshaphat’s prayer in 2 Chronicles 20, he acknowledged God’s sovereignty.
Tera Melber: Right.
Lynette Ezell: That Lord, you alone can handle this. You alone can do this. I sent one off for a test this morning, I’m very, very concerned. It’s a very important test, so that this child can take some college credits and kind of move on. I can’t go take that test. We prepared, we worked, but he and the Lord alone are in there doing that test.
It’s just released to the Lord. I know when Michaelynn was really sick and when she first came home from Ethiopia, only the Lord could handle that. So, to look and to acknowledge God’s sovereignty, I then pull back what I have to do and say, “Lord, I can’t get my thoughts wrapped around this, so Lord, I’m just gonna praise ya.”
Tera Melber: Yes.
Lynette Ezell: And just spend time praising the Lord. Jehoshaphat did that. He pulled back and he just corporately, with the people of God, praised God. Though nothing had been fixed yet.
Tera Melber: Right. It’s just like Paul being in prison and what did he do in the middle of the night when he couldn’t do anything else and he’s shackled? He praised the Lord. And sometimes it’s really all we can do, is to remind ourselves of the Lord’s character, that everything may be seemingly spiraling out of control on our end, but nothing is spiraling out of control for the Lord.
Lynette Ezell: No.
Tera Melber: And the question really boils down to His growing our faith and do you really trust Me? Do you really trust in My character? I am good. I am faithful, and I have everything under control. This did not take me by surprise.
Lynette Ezell: That’s right, that’s right. And we see in 2 Chronicles 20 that Jehoshaphat, he publicly proclaimed complete dependence on God. So Jehoshaphat was saying “It’s not me as your king that’s gonna win this war. It’s not me as your king. I can’t do this. It’s not on you. Though I may have great generals, it’s not in our flash or in our army but it’s in the one true living God.”
And he proclaims that and he tells the children of Israel, he says, “Believe in the Lord your God and you will be established.”
Tera Melber: I think, too, when you’re talking about how Jehoshaphat did that and he publicly proclaimed complete dependence on God, that oftentimes when we’re trying to control things we’re not trusting in the Lord. But when we do release that and then we share that with others, especially to a world that’s very skeptical about the Lord, or especially even to our Christian friends who are walking along this and struggling their own things. When we publicly can say no matter what He does He is still good. No matter how this goes down or how this works out, though I may not understand it, He is still good and I will trust in Him.
That’s exactly what we were created for. We’re created to know Him and to make Him known, and that in itself reveals to a watching world that we don’t have it all together, but we trust in the One who does.
Lynette Ezell: Absolutely. So, we just want to encourage you to look to the Lord for direction, because we need his direction just as Jehoshaphat said, “We don’t know what to do but our eyes are on You.” Look to the Lord first for direction and as I said earlier, He may be telling you to wait but you wait with focus.
Tera Melber: Right. right. And to pray for God’s intervention. He asks us to be a praying people. He says that our prayers are effective, the prayers of a righteous man are effective, and those prayers as we begin to pour out our heart just like King David did in the psalms, we pour out our heart, we pour out our struggles, but in the end David always came back to saying, “But God.” But this is who you are. So, He’s got broad shoulders, our God does, and He can handle everything that we’re feeling. He already knows it. But we are still called to pray for His intervention in difficult times.
Lynette Ezell: That’s right, and Jehoshaphat said … I’m gonna back up some in chapter 20, in verse 6 he said, “Oh, Lord, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In Your hand are power and might.”
Tera Melber: Yes, that is so true. He can change anything at any point, upon his direction. So, when we hit a wall in our process of fostering, adopting, and parenting, we just gotta keep plowing through. Continuing to do the right thing, looking to the Lord for direction, praying for His intervention. And asking the Lord to admit that you have a need for His help and to submit to His authority.
Lynette Ezell: That’s right. Jehoshaphat turned his focus away from his circumstances and onto the Lord, and when he did this he was able to rest in the Lord and he saw God fight the battle.
It’s a daily reminder to me as a mama, as a wife, but just trying to navigate the children through young adulthood. It’s really difficult.
Tera Melber: It is hard.
Lynette Ezell: It was much easier when they were toddlers, but to usher them through young adulthood and make sure that I’m spending my time with the Lord that spiritually I’m prepared, that I have my armor on. When my kids come to me, or as a family we have to make a big decision, but we’re gonna do that corporately and we’re gonna say together, whether … sometimes my teenagers’ hearts are in it or not, or young adult hearts are in it or not, we are gonna serve the Lord.
Tera Melber: Right.
Lynette Ezell: And we are gonna seek Him in this matter, and though He may not be fixing or polishing up the circumstance right now, we’re gonna wait and we’re gonna wait with focus, with our eyes on him.
Tera Melber: That’s right. The end of Psalm 21 I love says, “The Lord is your keeper. The Lord is the shade on your right hand. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.”
He has a plan. He has a purpose. We don’t get it most of the time, but it’s about how the Lord is choosing to grow us and Him and grow our trust and strength in Him. And Jehoshaphat’s such an awesome example. I love biblical examples where we don’t know what’s gonna happen, we don’t know what’s going on, but we see somebody who’s following hard after the Lord and we can fall in line under that as well.
Lynette Ezell: That’s right, and let me just remind you of one more thing, that there’s always more to the wall than meets the eye.
Tera Melber: That is so true.
Lynette Ezell: There’s a lot more going on there. There’s a spiritual battle going on there. There’s an eternal story to be completed. And we are at our strongest when we bow before the Lord and say, or I’m at my strongest but y’all know, I say it all the time, I don’t bring anything to the table. I mean, seriously.
But I am inadequate. I cannot do this without the Lord’s direction every single day, without his strength. So, when we stop and pray and fix our eyes on Jesus, and then we can rest in his strength, and then the battle is His, just like it was for Judah.
So, we’re waiting, but we’re waiting with focus because we’re being focused up on the Lord, and then God will receive the glory.
Tera Melber: Right. Which is what we want.
Lynette Ezell: Exactly.
Tera Melber: Which is what He desires.
Lynette Ezell: Yeah. That’s the goal.
Tera Melber: It’s not about us. It’s about Him.
Lynette Ezell: That’s right. That’s right. And we wanna hear the Father say one day, “Well done. Well done,” meaning a life that was confident in Him and not dependent on our circumstances.
Tera Melber: Yes. We don’t know what wall you might be facing in this season of life but we do know that God has everything under control. He’s sovereign. He sees the beginning from the end. He knows all about your worries, and our worries, and He knows about your pain and our pain and He’s still in control. He’s still working and using obedient hearts to accomplish his work.
“The fear of God came upon all the kingdoms of the countries when they heard how the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel. And the Kingdom of Jehoshaphat was a peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.”
Lynette Ezell: I love it. It’s a good word.
Tera Melber: You’ve been listening to the Adopting and Fostering Home podcast. We’re so glad you have taken time to listen today. Keep in mind, we are a ministry of the North American Mission Board and funded through the Annie Armstrong Offering and your giving to the cooperative program.
We look forward to talking more about adoption, fostering, and orphan care and how you can be more involved.