Matthew 2:11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh (NIV).
If you have children you will understand this statement,” A baby changes everything.” After Charity and I had been married a few years God blessed us with our first child, Ethan. I remember sitting and holding him in our living room after our family and well-wishers left us alone and thinking, “Now what do I do?”
Everything about our lives changed. No more relaxed days doing whatever we wanted to do on a whim. No more restful nights of undisturbed sleep. Then came Noah, Isaiah, and Lydia, and things continued to change. Though life would have been more simple, there is no way I would choose to undo those changes each of our babies brought because of the joy and pride each one brings to me.
A few months ago our lives were changed by a baby once again. At one month old we received our first foster son here in Honduras because of neglect and abuse. It had been about 13 years since we had to worry about bottles, diapers, altered schedules, and sleep interrupted by 1 o’clock, 3 o’clock, and 5 o’clock night time feedings. Despite the obstacles raising a child brings, I have loved seeing our boy reach his bench marks of smiling, babbling, rolling over, starting solid (at least semi-solid) food, and giving hugs.
Babies change a lot of things. Some of those changes bring hardship and struggle to the parent or guardian of the child, but most of the changes are pure joy. Far more times they open our lives to more opportunities than they hinder us. One instance happened the other day when our family went out to the nursing home we are serving here in Honduras. I had met the residents a few times and they have been nice, but a little wary of the stranger who does not look or talk like them. But Charity walked up with our boy and things changed. The little ladies began to tell us about their children or their regret that they never had children. They laughed and asked to hold him and have pictures made with the baby and with us. He opened a door that would have taken us much longer to open if we were on our own.
Not long ago, Tara Garcia of I M Loved who oversees us as a foster family reported that child protective services has promised to begin proceedings to have our son declared abandoned so he can be adopted by his forever family. I have been praying for this because, as much as I have enjoyed seeing him reach his developmental goals, I have at the same time felt a pinch of sadness because I want his forever mom and dad to be able to celebrate these victories. But when Tara told us the news, I felt a tug of sadness.
I feel sadness because I know how much it will hurt to let him go, but I also feel sadness because when we turn him over, I will lose all control over his care. I will more than likely not see him start school. I will not likely know what he becomes when he grows up.
But, would I trade what I am doing to avoid the pain? By no means! Any time we risk loving someone else, we risk having our hearts broken. But, as someone else has told us, our son deserves to have someone take a risk by loving him. Our son deserves the chance to be loved unconditionally, without strings.
In all of this, I am reminded that when humanity was at our greatest risk, God sent baby to change everything. No matter the cost God shows that we are worth the price. When His son Jesus Christ died on the Cross, so did all our sins. And when He was raised from the dead, those of us who believe were raised with Him.
Upon seeing this child, we are told in the passage above, the wise men left their gifts for Jesus. In the same way, when we interact with the almighty God through our relationship with Jesus Christ we find we cannot help but lay our gifts before Him. For the Scotts in Honduras part of our laying our gifts before Jesus is caring for at-risk Honduran children and at-risk Honduran elders. You may not be called by God where we are, but if you are not driven to pour yourself, your family, and all you have at the feet of Jesus in service and witnessing to the world, then you probably have not gotten close enough to Jesus. Unless everything about you is changing by the grace of God, then you need to step a little closer to Jesus in prayer, scripture reading, worship, and service in His name.