Monday, October 29, 2007

Fear vs Fear


I was reading about RAD or what is called reactive attachment disorder. This is when a child has severe
emotional problems due to a lack of bonding with the mother in the early formative years and as an infant.
These children can be violent and some have injured and even killed other family members and children.
Children who come out of orphanages can be prone to this problem. Sometimes love is not going to be
enough.

My greatest fear in pursuing this adoption is the fact that my wife and I have three biological children. They are
sweet and sensitive and loving. I love these little girls and the realization that our decision to bring three post-
institutionalized children into our home could place them at risk is terrifying. As I am writing this I can say the
fear is almost consuming.

After reading the above you may ask, “how can you proceed? You may be calling me reckless. Or maybe, you
may want to quote from the Bible “God does not give the spirit of fear.” Well I am lying next to my 22 month old
and have just finished reading about several children who have harmed other children and I am scared.

So, should I quit? I must answer no! The reason I will not quit is that God calls on us to fear him. In Proverbs
14:27 we read: He who fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge. Some
people like to whitewash this fear of God. This is a FEAR of God. I know the passion to provide a family for
these prospective children is real and of God. I know that I am commanded in James 2:15-17 to care for the
needs of the orphans. I FEAR what God might do to me and my family if I ignore this passion and His
commands.

We read in Matthew 25:34-46 about helping the orphans and the other “least” members of society. As
Christians we like to read the first part of this passage but conveniently skip the last part. In verses 41-46 we
read about the man who is damned to eternal separation because he hadn’t helped the “least” or lowest. I
am in no way suggesting a works-based salvation, I am simply stating that the failure to follow God’s
commands can have grave consequences. When we choose to let our own fears win out over our fear of God
and obedience to Him we place our entire future at risk.

I believe that as Martin Luther was nailing his 95 theses to the church door and is quoted as saying, “Here I
stand! God help me! I can do no other!” he was displaying how the fear of God won out over the fears of man.
Luther saw the consequences: loss of prestige, loss of safety, loss of money, and more and more loss. But
Martin Luther had a greater fear. Martin saw the need for a desperate change in the church commanded by
God and knew he was to act as a change agent and his fear of what God might do to him if he did not speak
up drove him to those church doors.

The uncertainty and fear of adoption is scary. We have no guarantees. Sometimes, I wish I hadn’t seen the
need of the orphans. But I have. I must move forward because my faith commands and my fear of God
demands it. God has promised that He is a Strong Fortress and He will provide refuge to His children. I wish
He also promised that it would be easy.

Much like Martin Luther I am forced to this statement:

“God help me! Here I stand! I can do no other!

Steve

1 comment:

The O'Haras said...

I can totally understand your fear, especially since you will more then likely end up with kids that are as old or older then your bio kids. I know that upon returning, the shock of what we had just done hit me like a rock, but God is faithful and I rest in that as we move forward now as a family of 5. May his grace flow out on you and your family.