It was wild at the Heits’ house as we rushed off to church this morning. The six year old didn’t like the clothes we picked out. She whined about her available selection of footwear. The 14 year old didn’t have clean church pants and the ten year old was in a twit about having to pack a church bag with Sunday School material, pencils and colors.
We slept a little too late and lingered over our coffee a little too long. We packed the car and headed out, then returned to retrieve the forgotten church bag. Off again while the parents refereed squabbles over which child should sit in which seat and who should or should not move their feet, whistle, sing or stare at their sibling on the way to church.
As we hustled our trio into church I looked across the parking lot to see good friends entering through another door. They got out of their clean car and quickly met on the other side. They held hands, smiled and chatted as they walked into church. Although they are the same age as my husband and I, their four kids are long grown and managing their own households. Suddenly, a quick sting of regret and just a little envy hit my heart.
We adopted two little girls when our oldest two were out of the house and the next two were 14 and 8. Our girls were nearly five and one when we brought them home from Ethiopia on my 45th birthday. We felt certain that God had issued his blessing on our adoption and pursued it even though several relatives worried aloud about our age.
We followed the girls into church this morning and slipped into a back pew still clutching our coffee mugs and hoping the kids would declare an hour-long truce. Soon the music washed over us and the kids settled right in. The pastor opened his Bible to Luke 18 and read this passage,
Luke 18: 29 “We left everything we owned and followed you, didn’t we?” 29 – 30 “Yes,” said Jesus, “and you won’t regret it. No one who has sacrificed home, spouse, brothers and sisters, parents, children-whatever-will lose out. It will all come back multiplied many times over in your lifetime. And then the bonus of eternal life!”
I caught a glimpse of my husband who was holding the six-year old on his lap and rubbing her back. He was thinking the same thing I was. Multiplied…many times over…and right now, sitting on his lap!