Friday, February 16, 2007

A Good Inheritance

What do we want for our children? I have been reconsidering this recently as we endure the long wait from LID to referral. Do we want them to be popular, to become famous, wealthy, or successful? I never gave much thought to these things when our children were being born. Becky and I were young, in love and had our hands full with the day to day of working and parenting. We only knew that we wanted them to be happy, to grow up loving God, and to become loving, compassionate people.

One day Becky opened a Bible to show me a scripture that she had read that day which seemed to have tremendous meaning to her. We had been married about ten or twelve years, our daughters were around the ages of ten, twelve, and fourteen. Becky said that she wasn’t sure that she fully understood the scripture, but she felt that it described her feeling about her life. It is found in the book of Psalms, chapter sixteen, verse six: “The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; yes I have a good inheritance.” I have remembered that scripture through the years and it has come to mean very much to me also. It has special meaning to me now as we, in the autumn of our lives approach the adoption of a precious little girl. Now I ask, "What do we want for our little girl"?

The scripture’s last five words are key, “I have a good inheritance.” Before anyone assumes that this is referring to riches and wealth, we need to hear the words of Christ in the gospel of Luke chapter twelve, verse fifteen…”for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” I can affirm that although I am far from rich in material wealth, I have a good inheritance, and I believe that “the lines have fallen to me in pleasant places.” It may help to understand these words better if we look at the preceding verse in the book of Psalms chapter sixteen, which is verse five. It reads: O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; you maintain my lot.

What these verses mean to me is that I am happy to be who I am, where I am, and with what I have. I can say that I am thankful for the inheritance my parents left me, an inheritance not of abundant possessions, but of spiritual life, a healthy attitude, and hope for eternity. I realize that not every person has been blessed to have parents like mine, or a secure childhood like I had. Becky’s home life was one of turmoil in her childhood. She changed schools five times during her first grade. Eventually her parents divorced and Becky went back and forth between parents and grandparents for several years. Her greatest feeling of security was when she was with her grandparents, from whom she received most of her spiritual training. In her maturity Becky enjoyed closeness with both of her parents and now with her stepfather.

The phrase “the lines have fallen unto me in pleasant places” may have been referring to the way that the Promised Land was divided and allotted to the tribes of Israel. The modern day equivalent would be to say, “I am pleased with my lot in life.” The secret to being satisfied with our lot in life is found in verse five, to paraphrase: the greatest portion of my inheritance is God, and He maintains my lot. I believe, and Becky agrees that the events of our past, some pleasant, some unpleasant, some very wonderful, and others very difficult, have worked out for good by the Grace of God. He has formed our character through these events. He has taught us how to live, and how to treat others. What a blessing to know that we belong to Him and that He has set our boundaries.

What I want for my children and my grandchildren is for them to be able to say, “I have a good inheritance. God is first in my life and He directs my ways. I am blessed to be who I am, where I am and with what I have.” With help from the Lord I will do all that I can to make my children and grandchildren’s lives secure and happy, to further their education, to encourage them to believe for great things, to teach them compassion, and understanding, but it is only by His Grace that they will enjoy the fullness of that inheritance.

No one chooses their parents, their nationality, or the times in which they are born. These things are decided by a higher power, some may say fate, and others may say God. Our Chinese daughter has come into this world and is now without parents or family. The China Center of Adoption Affairs will match her to us, and our agency will coordinate our joining together. I believe that the mighty hand of a loving Creator will oversee these events. My fondest hope is that one day, when she is grown, our daughter will read that scripture: “the lines have fallen unto me in pleasant places, yes I have a good inheritance” and say yes, I am happy with my lot in life, God has set my boundaries and guided my steps.


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