July 9

“I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” Isaiah 48:10

Does not the Word come like a soft shower, assuaging the fury of the flame? Yes, is it not an asbestos armor, against which the heat has no power? Let the affliction come—God has chosen me. Poverty, thou mayest stride in at my door; but God is in the house already, and He has chosen me. Sickness, thou mayest intrude; but I have a balsam ready—God has chosen me. Whatever befall me in this vale of tears, I know that He has chosen me.

Fear not, Christian; Jesus is with thee. In all thy fiery trials, His presence is both thy comfort and safety. He will never leave one whom He has chosen for His own. “Fear not, for I am with thee,” is His sure word of promise to His chosen ones in “the furnace of affliction.”~C. H. Spurgeon

(Streams in the Desert)

Henry and Lois were not highly educated, nor were they experts in the field of child psychology, but their love for me and my sister was flawless. Henry worked as a boilermaker in a Port Arthur refinery; Lois rose early every morning to cook biscuits from scratch and do all the other tasks that once fell unapologetically under the term “housewife.” Their love for one another was strong, but what they wanted more than life itself was a child of their own. For whatever reason they could not become pregnant, so they turned to Sellers Baptist Adoption Services in New Orleans. Hope arrived in the form of Melody Ann. In those days, couples were fortunate to adopt one child, but the unthinkable happened three years later when Henry and Lois were approved to adopt a baby boy. Their joy was complete, and it was contagious.

Our parents loved us relentlessly. I will never know how or why they knew to do so, but our parents communicated clearly from the beginning that we were special because we were adopted. I cannot recall ever not knowing I was chosen. ‘Adopted’ was never a label to eschew; on the contrary, my sister and I flourished with love and security in knowing we were chosen. Election is the grandest gift imaginable. Nothing can separate us from the measureless love of our Father who tells us we are special because He chose us. Grace means nothing more and nothing less than relentless electing love.

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