I tell this story often. It’s a love story. It may be a different kind of love story than what you might think when you hear that phrase, but I think you will understand.
For years, my husband, Dan and I struggled to have a family. If you have lived through the valley of infertility, you know the pain, the loss, the emptiness that road can take, the stress it can put on a marriage. It was a valley, a very long, empty valley. After several years of trying to make it happen on our own, we did what we so often do when we can do nothing else. We surrendered to God. We gave Him our hopes, our dreams, our desires and wow…when we gave Him our desires, He gave us His.
We got off our path and we stepped onto His. God put adoption on our hearts and with everything we had, we went after it. Rather than feeling defeated, we now felt encouraged. Rather than feeling hopeless, we were given new hope! We went to meetings, filled out paperwork, found references, and filled out more paperwork! Every day that passed, we fell in love, deeper and deeper in love with a baby that we had not yet seen, on the other side of the world.
Seven months later, we were at the airport, headed out of town for vacation when we decided to check our messages at home one more time. I dialed the number and there was one message waiting, the message we had anticipated for such a long time. ‘Mr. and Mrs. Piraino, we have identified a baby girl. She is seven months old. Please call us back as soon as you can.’
With my mouth wide open and tears rolling down my cheeks, my husband knew that this was the call. A package would be arriving at our home in two days with a video of this baby girl. We adjusted our travel plans as vacation was no longer the priority it had been prior to the call! It was a long two days as we talked and dreamed and wondered and thanked the Lord for what was to come.
I have never been so excited to see the FedEx man! Two days later, the doorbell rang and there he stood, package in hand. Needless to say, we were right there to answer the door! We put the VHS tape in the recorder and sat together on the floor in front of the TV as the video played. A wide eyed, dark haired beautiful baby girl stared at us through the camera. We stared back and we knew.
We saw her. And we loved her.
With just one glance, from that moment on, every decision we made, every conversation we had, everything was aimed toward one end. We saw her, we loved her and one day, we would bring her home.
I rarely read books twice, but there is a love story that I have read countless times. Every year on January 1st I open up to chapter one and begin to read it all over again. It is the love story about a people and their God. Their God has many names, but as I was reading today, one name stood out. His Name is El Roi. He is the God Who Sees.
Not long after this love story began, God’s people chose to walk away. They chose to walk a path different from what He had instructed, from where His presence stayed. But even when His people were so far away, El Roi saw them. No matter how far away they walked, they could not escape His view. While they were still far away, He saw them and He loved them. He loved them with a love that spanned eternity, and this God Who loves His children deeply purposed to do whatever it took to bring them back, whatever it took to bring His children home. Every move, every action, every plan from there out was aimed toward one end -to bring the ones He had seen and loved home to be with Him forever.
It is the greatest love story of all time, the story of God Who Sees and the people He loves. It’s the story of God and us. He saw us when we were far off, He saw us when we wandered away. He has seen us at our best, He has seen us at our worst, and He continues to see us today. There is nothing the God Who Sees can see about us that would make Him stop loving and pursuing us. He sees us and He loves us and every move, every action, every plan He has is aimed toward one end — to bring us, the ones He sees and loves, home to be with Him.
No matter what He has seen, the God Who has seen it all…He still loves you.
Perhaps you are feeling unseen today. No matter how you feel, the truth is that from page one, God has been pursuing you. His desire has always been to bring you close. Every move He has made has been with one purpose, to bring you into His house to be part of His family forever. He wants to be with you, He wants to bring you home.
It’s been twenty years since we got the message about our daughter that day in the airport. Two months after we saw her from afar, we traveled to Russia, we saw her face to face, and we brought her home.
There is nothing like face to face. There is nothing like going home.
At an appointed time already marked on God’s calendar, He will bring His children home. You can read about it in the last chapter of His love story. Words cannot describe the extent of the celebration when we see the One Who has seen us all along. There will be nothing like seeing Him. There will be nothing like standing face to face! There will be nothing like being home!
Need a good love story today? Open up the Bible. It may be a different kind of love story than what you might think when you hear that phrase, but with the Holy Spirit’s help, you will understand. Start at the beginning and when you get the end, you will celebrate the greatest love story ever told…and the very next day, you will want to go back to the beginning…and read it all over again!
See yourself in the story. He sees you…and He loves you! You, my friend, are deeply loved by God.
‘I paid a huge price for you…That’s how much you mean to me! That’s how much I love you!
I’d sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you.’
Isaiah 43:4 (The Message)