Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dying Well and Adoption

I was listening to Matt Redman's song, "10,000 Reasons" today and it dawned on me that in order for us to die well, we must practice dying well throughout our lives.  It's not something that will just drop into our personalities when our time to die has come.  Let me explain a little bit how this thought dawned on me and also how it relates to adoption.

Redman's song relates how our hearts have 10,000 reasons to be singing praise to God day in and day out, never ending, never fading.  There is no reason for anyone to cease to praise God.  There is always a reason to praise the Lord.  The last verse of Redman's song is where it came to me that we must prepare now to die well.  Here are the lyrics...

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore. 

In this section of the song, he's saying that when the time of death hovers over us, there will, even then, be every reason to sing praises to God as we await the eternal dawning of never ending worship. When that time comes, even in the moment of earthly departure, "my soul will sing your praise unending."  When strength fails, when organs cease to function, when hair is gray and trips to the bathroom become more cumbersome than worth it, God is still worthy to be praised.  How then do we look forward to the day when we can glorify God in our death?  How do we know that when our time has come, we WILL sing praise unending?  I think the way we die for the glory of God is by living for the glory of God now.  

When morning dawns, is praise on our lips?  When darkness falls, is praise on our lips?  When children are born, is praise on our lips?  When children are lost, is praise on our lips?  When we worship at church, is praise on our lips?  Will our hearts, even now, sing praises to the Lord "whatever may pass or whatever lies before me"?  When praise and satisfaction in the Lord become our ever-present anthem, there is no reason to think that this anthem will be drown out by something as fleeting as death.  For those in Christ, death is just the beginning of "ten thousand years and then forevermore."  Sure, we leave those we love, but we enter into the joys of everlasting satisfaction and delight when we see Jesus Christ face to face.  Let the joys of eternal delight in Christ motivate you to rejoice today in Christ so that when your time comes to face death, praise will be the "natural" and automatic response of your soul.  

How then does this relate to adoption?  As our adoption has changed over the last few months, we haven't been affected as negatively as some other couples have.  Sure, our process has changed, our plans have changed, and our peace of mind has been shaken.  However, we've heard stories from other families that could, at times, feel like death.  For some in the adoption journey, the day to day wait for documents, referrals, or even pictures may feel like an eternity.  And yet, do we delight enough in the Lord in those moments to sing praise unending?  Do we use these moments as "practice" for when we will worship around the throne of the Lamb who was slain?  

This "strategy" for dying well sounds stoic, I know.  It's not easy, and in this life, it does not come naturally.  But maybe it will just be helpful to keep it on the front of your mind as you face life's challenges.  Maybe you can bring to mind the joys of God's provision while you are waiting on that USCIS document.  Maybe you can remember that God has a chosen son or daughter out there for you who will fit into your journey of sanctification so well that only God could have orchestrated the beauty of your family.  The Lord is good, his love endures forever.  Praise him and die well.  


1 comment:

  1. Hi Adam and Liz,

    I have an adoption fundraising idea I'd like to share with you. Could you please email me at mlee@coupaide.com?


    Matthew Lee