When we first got our foster kids in December, even though we'd been warned about being overly idealistic and told all the horror stories, I have to admit I was secretly optimistic. I held this naive hope that somehow this time would be different. That we'd be able to build a relationship with their mom and lead her to Christ and get her life on track serving God and send them off to a godly home. I knew that was against all odds, but since my hope is in Christ and not in those odds anyway, I kept praying for that outcome.
Today we took our foster kids' mom to church with us at the campus that is closest to her house. She happily went with us as we checked her girls into their LifeKIDS rooms (neither one cried thank you Jesus). She accepted a Krispy Kreme and coffee. She sang along during the singing part. She filled in the visitor card when they said to. She listened and took notes during the message. She scraped together her change and money and gave "her tithe." She raised her hand and prayed along as the Campus Pastor led a prayer of salvation. She checked the box on her communication card for "recommitting her life to Christ." She picked up a What's Next Kit. She prayed with the volunteer that handed those out. She talked to the small groups pastor about getting into a women's group. We picked up the kids. We took her to lunch at McDonald's (thank God for indoor playgrounds) and took her back home. I just got off the phone with her because she called to see how they did and we talked all about the message and how much it spoke to her (We "Talked It Over" actually). She had already watched the DVD that came with her new Bible. She expressed her gratitude and receptiveness to us being a part of her life even after she gets her kids back. We now have a standing arrangement for every Sunday morning to repeat the whole thing again. So, naive? Maybe. But I'll take that any day of the week.
So now I guess I better explain the title. Pastor Craig said the word better about a hundred times. Because he was basically trying to make the point that we really don't live like we believe what God has for our lives is better than what the world has to offer. At one point he said, "Some of you are questioning, 'I'm not sure about all that.' But you are the ones who have never tried it. Those who have tried it know that it is better."
I'm here to testify that living life God's way is better. I few months ago, it would be hard to imagine that anything besides spending my Sundays in my pajamas with the only stress of the day being grocery shopping. I mean, that's why we go to church on Saturday evenings, so we don't have to do anything on Sundays. But getting up early, leaving two kids with a sitter, and schlepping two foster kids across town to spend all morning with their mom is better. It certainly doesn't add up on paper. But I know it for a fact. It is better.
Better. Better. Better...
This song, The Desert Song by Hillsong, was one of the songs to today's worship set. It WAY spoke to me and I had never heard it before. It ended like this:
"This is my prayer in the harvest, when favor and Providence flow.
I know I'm filled to be emptied again. The seed I receive I will sow."
I pray that God will give you the courage and strength to turn your back on the world and pour your life out as an offering to Him. We're not there yet. Sometimes we feel tired and weary and discouraged. But even so, it is better.