Yesterday, we left off with 12 orphan boys surprised by voices they never knew they had. They weren’t the only ones surprised. The head of the orphanage and a visiting American ambassador found themselves captivated by the boy’s abilities to string together chords and spellbinding harmonies. They challenged the boys to form an official choir and spend their afternoon free time each day practicing.
With no vision of what could be and nothing promising on the horizon, the boys had to make a choice.
A tough choice.
A choice between what felt good in the moment- soccer, and what they knew in their gut they should do- practice their music.
Their favorite activity each day was playing soccer. They thought about soccer when they woke up in the morning. They thought about soccer while at school. They thought about soccer during the mandatory afternoon chapel service at the orphanage. They thought about soccer during their one meal of the day after chapel. And then the glory of each day finally came true late each afternoon when they were turned lose on the dirt yard behind the orphanage.
The first week of music practice was the hardest. The soccer game sounds would drift into the hot cinder block room where they stood singing. Their legs screamed with the desire to run. Their skin begged for the relief of the outside breeze. Their minds drifted to what was comfortable and familiar.
But their souls refused the lure of the familiar. They stayed focused on that gentle nudge toward the first inklings of a calling. So, they stood and they sang. At least most of them.
A few of the original choir boys returned to the soccer field. And a few others playing soccer decided to make the sacrifice to sing. And nobody knew what a crucial choice they were making.
For one day the American ambassador returned. With a vision, some paper work, and a plan not yet explained to anyone but the orphanage director, the ambassador instructed the choir boys to board a bus. They didn’t have time to say goodbye or grab anything. They simply walked on that bus.
Thus began a journey that would eventually take them half way across the world to sing in churches in America.
And in true God fashion, the road was paved for two very unlikely worlds to collide.
Most of you know the rest of this story. Boys meet overwhelmed white mama with three little girls in tow. White mama never thought careful Daddy would ever agree. But God. Miracles happen. We adopt. Our friends also adopt. And those 12 boys who were in a forgotten orphanage, in a forgotten country, were no longer forgotten.
Why am I telling you this story? Is it so you will be haunted with conviction to run out and adopt teenaged boys from Africa? No.
I am sharing this story to remind us girls of a few crucial facts as they relate to some of the things we’ve been discussing here lately.
Whether we’re trying to tame our run away emotions— or tame our runaway desires for unhealthy foods— or dig out from our financial messes—- or get to a better place in our marriage— or figure out where in the world do the unorganized people like me still find the school supplies we should have bought weeks ago.
It is good to remember what kind of God we serve.
We serve a God who responds to thankful people even when we don’t see immediate answers to our prayers.
We serve a God who offers us the power to make the courageous choices.
We serve a God who is always working behind the scenes to make the unlikely absolute reality.
We serve a God who wants His people to follow Him and His calling even when it’s stinking hard to resist the soccer game outside.
We serve a God who wants His people to believe. Really believe. And live like we really believe.
We serve the One, True, Almighty, Undeniable, Absolutely Reliable, Above All, In All, Worthy of Everything, Capable of Anything, and Deserving of my absolute best- God.
That’s Who we serve.
And this miracle of how my boys made their way home reminds me, haunts me, propels me, and compels me in the best kind of way.
What kind of needed reminder does it give you? I’d love to know by reading your comments today.
And if I haven’t already taken up too much of your time, after you leave your comment, feel free to pop over to InCourage where I’m guest posting today.