“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'” John 14:6 (NIV)
I wasn’t in the mood to be messed up.
I put my head against my bedroom wall, closed my eyes, and whispered, “There’s no way.” It was late summer of 2003 when my world collided with what seemed like an impossible invitation from God: adopt two teen boys from war-torn Liberia.
All the reasons why this wasn’t a good idea tumbled before me. Honest reasons. Understandable reasons. Solid reasons.
Missionaries would be much more qualified. Missionaries with grown kids. People much more spiritual than me. People much more gentle and patient enough to do this sort of thing.
Not this disorganized woman who originally thought Liberia was in South America.
Not this mom who already felt overwhelmed with her three kids. How in heaven’s would we add two more?
Not someone who paid so many late fees at the library they should have named a shelf after her. Maybe two.
Definitely not me.
But it was me.
The invitation was mine.
And I knew it.
No matter how many times I whispered over and over, “There’s no way,” this nagging sense of possibility wouldn’t leave me. It wove its way through every fiber of my being until I stood up and shifted everything I thought my family would be with one weak whisper, “Yes.”
I can honestly say there were moments of sheer joy where I felt reassured I’d heard God right.
But there were many other moments where life felt chaotic, messy, and really hard. There were tears. There were moments where I loved my five kids but I didn’t like them very much. There were moments I wondered if I’d heard God wrong.
And there were more times even after we adopted where I said, “There’s no way.”
There was no way we could overcome a medical diagnosis one of my boys received. There was no way two teenage boys who tested at a kindergarten level could catch up in two years and be ready for middle school. There was no way I could be patient enough to educate them at home during those two years.
But every time I said, “There’s no way,” I’d remember Jesus calling Himself, “The way … “ (John 14:6).
John tells us that Jesus is the way to salvation. Through Him we have access to the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:18) who gives us patience, guidance, and peace. All of which I needed. Desperately.
Yes, Jesus was the One to follow. He was the One who would guide me each day. He was the One I needed to pour out my heart to in prayer. He was the One to listen to. And He was the One who reassured me with many promises in the Bible.
One of those promises was Isaiah 58:10-11: ” … if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”
I could be a light rising in the darkness. I could be full of life like a well-watered garden. I could be refreshing like a spring whose waters never fail. Me. Crazy, incapable, crying-in-my-closet me. If I let Jesus be my way and do what He was asking me to do, these things could be true for me.
And they can be true for you as well.
There might not be a way if you look at your situation with only human reasoning and calculation. But if you let Jesus’ truth and promises fill you, you’ll find a different way. A good way. A sure way. His way.
Dear Lord, thank You for reminding me that You are the only true way. Help me to see this every day as the circumstances of life surround and sometimes overwhelm me. I desperately need Your help as I learn to say “yes” to Your calling on my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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