Today's Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:58 (read)
"We think we will have an infant for you to adopt by September." We heard those words with joy in April 1974. Several days later, we learned the U.S. Army was sending my husband to Korea. The previous four years had been a time of intense spiritual growth for both of us and we could not understand why God would take away this desire of our hearts. After seven years of waiting, we thought we had been very patient.
I wish I could say that during the following eight months that year my prayer was "Lord, Thy will be done." But I was angry with God and continued to ask the unanswerable, "Why?"
On New Year's Eve, we traveled four hours by foot, bus, taxi and train to a French Canadian orphanage on the coast of South Korea. We completed paperwork and were promised a healthy baby girl to take home when we returned on Jan. 6.
As we walked through the rooms of infants that January day, we passed a baby girl in a swing. My husband immediately said, "I want this baby." The nurse tried to explain that was not the infant we were to adopt. After much discussion, he convinced her we wanted this baby.
Why did my husband choose this baby over others? Our only answer is that the Holy Spirit did the choosing. During the past 37 years, it has been so evident that he sent us halfway around the world for this specific child. She is a daily reminder that God's desires for us are greater than anything we could choose or imagine.
What are you waiting for today? My prayer is that you can "stand firm in the Lord" and know he will provide abundantly for you in his time.
Paula Jackson is a retired high school counselor and a Word&Way trustee.
This 2011 Advent devotion originally appeared in the November 17 issue of Word&Way.