Throughout this adoption, we have prayed for it to go quickly, not for our own sake, but for the sake of our daughter who waits every day for a family, a home. As the time stretched on and on, it seemed as though our prayers were not being answered. Indeed they weren't answered in the way we wanted. What we asked for was not a bad thing; why didn't God answer us?
On Monday, our small group was studying the Triumphal Entry of Jesus, the day we call Palm Sunday when the people recognized Jesus as King and shouted, "Hosanna!" "Save us!" We talked about how many of those Jews believed that Jesus was a political king, the one who would save them from the heavy hand of the Romans. They were being treated unjustly and they cried out to God for help. They believed that Jesus was their answer.
And of course He was. They were just asking the wrong question.
While the Jews were crying out for political salvation, Jesus was riding toward the cross, to purchase a much bigger salvation that would last eternally and be just as powerful today, 2000 years later, as it was on Palm Sunday. The people who cried hosanna were asking God to deliver them from the oppression they felt, and that was a good thing to ask for. When it appeared that He didn't answer, that He allowed their Hope to be killed a few days later, to them it must have seemed like unanswered prayer, like defeat. If they could have seen the whole thing, they would have known that the freedom Jesus bought on Good Friday is galaxies beyond the political freedom for which they yearned.
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)
We see such a tiny piece of the puzzle at any given time. We ask, we beg, we plead with God to answer, to rescue, we ask for good and righteous things, and sometimes He seems silent. May we learn from the people who littered the ground with their coats and cried out for salvation. May we see that He is always working, always moving, always answering. Until He opens our eyes, we may not see the bigger picture, the reason our prayers (prayers for good things!) seem to fail. He has a master plan, and it is bigger than the universe, bigger than all we could ask or think (Eph 3:20-21).
And if the plan is so much bigger than we can think to ask for, the cost is also so much higher. The cost of freedom from the Romans would have been a revolution, and people would have died--that is a great cost. The cost of our adoption is emotionally and financially very high. But the price paid for the salvation of the world was the death of the Son of God--the highest cost that could possibly be paid. And yet today we both mourn and celebrate the fact that He paid it. The cost of our adoption as sons and daughters of God is as much higher than that of our adoption as His thoughts are higher than ours. Today we remember the price.
Jesus rode into Jerusalem with cries of hosanna ringing in His ears. He knew the salvation He would bring was not what they were seeking; He knew it was what they really needed. He provided the ultimate salvation that they did not even know to ask for. When we prayed for our adoption, He saw the big picture, the plan that we still do not understand but trust is right. Today when we pray, we know that we see through a darkened glass and He sees the crystal clear reality, which one day He will show to us (1 Cor 13:12). And His willingness to pay the highest cost for us shows us the depth of His love and care for us. May we never forget that we have been given such a great salvation. Thank You, Jesus that Your plan is bigger, that the cost You paid is higher, and that Your love for us is greater.