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March 27, 2018
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and rivers in the wasteland.”  (Isaiah 43:18-19)

Grace did it.  Haven did it.  And now River is doing it.

It began immediately upon their arrival home.

Grace and Haven continued doing it for several months.  And River now seems to be on the exact same timetable as them.  He is, quite literally, following in their footsteps.

Almost daily, I hear the pitter-patter of his little feet on our kitchen floor as he scampers over to a small crumb (or crumbs) that he has spotted.

Sometimes, he will just hold the crumbs and bring them over to me – proudly showing me what he has found.  This gives me the opportunity to snatch them out of his hand before he pops them into his mouth.   But, usually, when he finds crumbs, they go directly into his mouth.  Without thinking, and before I can say anything to stop him, he smiles and gulps them down.

Grace did it.  Haven did it, too.

I can’t say that I know or understand all of the reasons why this behavior has belonged, for the most part, solely to the children who came to us through adoption.  But, I think I have some pretty good guesses.

(I should preface what I am about to say by expressing the deep gratitude that I have for the orphanage staffs and the foster family – in Grace’s case – who cared for our children before we met them.  We have no reason to believe that they didn’t do the best that they could.  These words shouldn’t be taken as a shot against them.  They are simply a snapshot of some of the realities of institutional life.)

In the orphanages and foster homes where Grace, Haven, and River spent their first two years of life, there is a good chance that food intake was regulated.  It was scheduled.  In an institutional environment, it pretty much has to be.  Eating probably wasn’t an on-demand activity for them, like it was for my three biological children.  When they were infants/toddlers, my biological children ate whenever/wherever they wanted to be fed (for the most part).  They expressed their needs – their hunger and their thirst – and I was able to respond immediately.  But, that probably wasn’t the case for Grace, Haven, and River.

For them, food came their way at certain times.  It probably only came at times that would best suit everyone in the institution.  And, typically, food was expected to be eaten within a certain amount of time.  The same goes for drinks.  That concept would have been foreign to my three biological children when they were infants/toddlers.  If they needed milk , I would give it to them.  If they needed a bowl of Goldfish crackers, I would get one for them.  It didn’t always have to be during a small window of time each day.  Also, if they needed to go to bed with a bottle of water, I would send them to bed with that.  I don’t know that Grace, Haven, and River had that luxury.   My guess is that there were times when they went to bed thirsty.  <insert aching heart here>

I am also pretty certain that Grace, Haven, and River each spent their first two years competing (for lack of a better term) for food.  If snacks were presented, there were most likely dozens of precious little hands swarming over them.

With all of those things in mind, it is also my guess that if something ever fell to the floor, in the form of a crumb, they wouldn’t hesitate to grab it and gobble it up.

So, it’s no wonder that they all came to us with a keen sense of spotting crumbs on the floor of their new home, with their new family.  Finding crumbs, and consuming them, was a part of their past.

Last week, River ran up to me wearing only a diaper (his favorite post-breakfast attire), and opened his hand.  He said, “See!  See!”  I saw several crumbs in his hand.  He had done it again.  He had found some crumbs, and was so happy.  Happy enough to show his mommy.  He had done this many times before.  So, his discovery and his excitement didn’t surprise me one bit.  But, what struck me, on this particular occasion, was that he was basically standing in our pantry doorway as he showed them to me.

If you’ve ever been to our home, you know that our pantry is ridiculously large.  And it’s full of food.  It holds all of the snack foods that River could ever want.  He knows that.  He has been in there many times.  He knows that it holds his favorite cookies and crackers.  He knows that it holds boxes of his beloved Cheerios.  And he knows that all he has to do is ask me for something to eat, and I will get it for him.

Yet, he still seeks and finds the crumbs.

Even as he stands in the doorway of the vast pantry that his father and mother have filled with nourishment, he still falls into old patterns of seeking, finding, and consuming crumbs from the floor.

Sound familiar?

Yeah.  Sounds pretty familiar to me, too.

Our Heavenly Father has a vast storehouse, full and abundant, prepared for us.  It’s easily accessed.  It’s free.  It’s open to all.  It provides nourishment, on-demand.  It holds everything that we could ever need.   And it’s there because He loves us, and wants to give us hope and a bright future.

But, oftentimes, we just want to stick with what we know.  We want to stick with what is comfortable, and familiar…rather than looking toward what God has in store for us.

Oftentimes, we choose the crumbs instead of the feast.

There are times when we let ourselves fall into old patterns.  There are times when we blindly let past hurts and heartaches influence our decisions.  There are times when we let things from our past – things that we were certain we had moved beyond – come back and dictate our actions.

Feasting on crumbs can’t satisfy a hungering soul.

Living in the past doesn’t lead to fulfillment.

Living in the present, with our eyes fixed upon our Father, and all that He has prepared for us, is the only way to truly satisfy our deepest hunger and thirst.

Don’t dwell on the crumbs of the past, friends.  God is always doing something new.  He is always up to something.  And He wants you – His beloved child – to come alongside Him.  He wants you to live now.  He wants you to live in the present, not in the past.  He wants you to live fully.  Take hold of the abundant life He is offering you.  Let it nourish your hungering, thirsting souls, like a river in the wasteland.

Look for it.

Run toward it.
As you do, open your hand.
Let the crumbs fall to the ground.
Leave them, and the wastelands of the past, behind.
By:  NeedToBreathe



One Comment leave one →
  1. March 27, 2018 4:49 am


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