New King James Version (NKJV)
Meditate on These Things
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
I've read this verse more times than I can count. It's part of one of my (many) favorite passages of scripture. And this morning, when I saw this come up on my You Version App, I thought, "I've read this a thousand times. I know it by heart." So I just sort of skimmed it (come on . . . you know you do it too), but then the words "true" and "good report" jumped out at me. They've always been there. I've always been aware of them, but suddenly them took on a completely new meaning.
You see, the adoption world is full of bad reports. And sometimes (okay, a lot of times) people love to let you know how bad things are going to be for you . . . how long you'll be waiting (forever . . . I get it) . . . how few referrals are coming in . . . how everyone has the same parameters as you . . . how once you do get home with your sweetheart, she'll probably strangle you in your sleep . . . I'm sure you get my point. Here lately I haven't found it easy to deal with the all the bad reports, and at times this process can be so discouraging.
Then I read this scripture this morning, and I realized a couple of things. First, I'm meditating and dwelling on the bad reports. I let the opinions and experiences of others determine my feelings and moods in regard to this whole adoption process. Second, truth isn't always what you see with your eyes. There are spiritual battles going on that we cannot see. And good reports aren't always laid out right in front of us. Sometimes you have to make a concerted effort to focus on those things that are "true" and of "good report". So I went back and read the verses leading into verse eight.
New King James Version (NKJV)
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
God brought us here. God guided us this far. Things haven't always been smooth, but we've seen Him come through time and again. So maybe there aren't a lot of referrals, maybe we will be waiting forever (we've been waiting almost 30 months as it is), maybe everyone does have the same parameters as us, but you know what else? God! One word, one name, one all powerful, loving Father, who is in control. That's it. So call me delusional, call me crazy, call me ridiculous, but I will be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, I will let my requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard my heart and my mind through Christ Jesus. And whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—I will meditate on these things.
And that's just how it's going to be!