By Pastor Stephen Hess –
I would guess that we often underestimate what the Lord is able to do in our lives. One of the key indicators of this is in our prayers: Do we believe that the Lord is able to move mountains and do we pray fervently to see his power displayed in our lives, or do we settle for mundane requests because of a lack of faith in what the Lord can do? In his letter to the Ephesians Paul wrote these powerful words: “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Eph. 3:20-21). According to Paul, God is able to do far more than we can ask or think. The problem is that all too often our faith is too small.
I was given a recent reminder of God’s ability to move mountains as we finalized our second adoption. As many people know, adopting a child is usually very expensive. Domestic adoptions in the United States typically cost between $25,000 to $30,000. As we began our journey many people asked us how on earth we were going to pay for such an undertaking. To many people, coming up with that amount of money seemed like an insurmountable obstacle. But to that I respond: God is able to do far more than we can ask or think!
I remember hearing another adoptive parent once say, “God has a heart for widows and orphans, therefore if God leads a person to adopt an orphan he will provide all of the funds needed to bring that good work to completion.” Having now completed two domestic adoptions I can say that I wholeheartedly agree with that statement. When we pray for things—even massive things—that are close to God’s heart, God often reveals his power in unexpected but clear ways.
When we embarked on our second adoption journey we knew that coming up with the money was not going to be easy. In fact, when we started we weren’t even sure where it would all come from. We only knew that God had led us to adopt again, and therefore we stepped out in faith trusting that God would provide for our needs. We reached out to family and friends whom we knew had a heart for adoption and let them know about our situation and the opportunity to support us in bringing another child into the family. We also applied for numerous adoption grants through non-profit organizations that offer funds to help families adopt children. For months and months, we prayed and asked God to provide in whatever way he saw fit. Along the way God provided for us through the generosity of people he had placed in our lives and by blessing us with some of these grants.
It wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that I realized just how powerfully God answered our prayers. As we were preparing to finalize the adoption I was looking over our paperwork and decided to tally up the total of our adoption fees and expenses from start to finish, and then compare that number to the total amount of funds that God had provided through various channels. I was stunned that the amounts of these two numbers was almost exactly the same, to within one hundred dollars!
What at first seemed like an insurmountable obstacle was simply a mountain that God could easily move through the power of prayer. The Apostle John reminds us: “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us” (1 Jn. 5:14). Therefore, do not underestimate what the Lord can do! Seek after those things which are close to the Lord’s heart and pray for him to do great things. I guarantee you that he is able to do far more abundantly than you can ask or think.