We had a good fundraiser at our church today. There was good food (burrito bar and banana pudding) and good fellowship. Kelly and I made a nice presentation, and we raised over $3000.
In cartoons, there is a staple that I will call the Impossibly Large Hammer. Two characters are arguing and at some point one character pulls (out of nowhere) a wooden mallet roughly the double their size and proceeds to give the other one a good whacking. The traditional response is for afflicted character (after a proper amount of accordion-like wheezing) is to pull an even larger hammer out of thin air and return the favor.
The closer we get to our goal the bigger the hammer appears to be that will be used upon us. The hammer is rapidly growing impossibly large. In (hopefully) a few weeks or months we will find ourselves in a foreign country where we do not speak the language (not counting phrase-books "Yo soy un espía" or Lingo-matic tapes "Timid cows store porridge on the refrigerator at the bus station"). We will not know where we are, where we are going, or the other small details. We will be more or less at the complete mercy of the adoption team. There are a huge number of things that I *know* could go wrong, and that number pales to number of things that I don't know about. Even if everything runs smoothly we will still be coming home with two special-needs children who have urgent medical needs. If that is not going to take our comfortable lives and turn it completely upside down I don't know what would. There is a fine line between brave and stupid, but if we knew the dangers and the hammering we will face then we would never go.
Either God is sovereign or not at all. If Sovereign, then He is just as much in control here as he will be there. That is easy to say, but I can see the institutional supports here (I speak the language, I have friends and family, I know my way around, etc.) The harder thing is accepting that everything is for our good and for His glory. We don't see the purpose or the design immediately and being hammered hurts. The other thing is that the hammerings and refinings are what engineers like to call "sufficient and necessary". The hammering that we receive is not capricious or random - it is necessary. There is not a single blow of the hammer that falls without purpose. By the same token, there is not a single extra strike from the hammer, there is not hammering for the sake of hammering or an extra lick for good measure - each thud of the impossibly large hammer is metered and sufficient.