Our Guest: Rhoda Bowman
Rhoda Bowman is a registered nurse, wife, and adoptive mom of six. She was also one of our host, Jodie Chiricosta’s roommates for a time. Rhoda was the tenth out of fourteen children in her family.
Key Thoughts and Scriptures:
Ephesians 1:4-5 NLT Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.
- Adoption provides a brighter future for the beneficiaries.
- We are beneficiaries of adoption by God.
- As we grow and mature, we see God and His work in our lives differently.
- Rhoda began reading the Bible regularly at a young age.
- She recognized that she was immature and really wanted wisdom so she began to read Proverbs.
Proverbs 4:23 NCB Guard your heart with all possible vigilance, for from it flow the wellsprings of life.
- Keeping and guarding our hearts is a continual process that extends into every area of our lives.
Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 16:9 NLT We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.
- “If it’s not from You, I don’t want it.”
- Whatever God has for you will be good.
We all have dreams of what our lives will be like and as we mature we realize our dreams gloss over the process of getting there.
- God takes us through things to make us more like Him.
- He brought Rhoda through her pain to a place where she could understand and not just react.
- Her rejoicing and grieving were occupying the same place.
- “I don’t know who this person is.”
- “Do whatever it takes to make me more like You.”
- Rhoda came to realize that she was a sinner in desperate need of a savior.
- God does give us more than we can handle in and of our own strength.
2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
- God’s strength works in us.
“God will never give his people trials in which he will not sustain them and bring them through to everlasting glory.” – John Piper
- We need to be at the point of totally relying on God.
- Anything less is not making Him our Lord.
- “If I had come to this place where I realized that my desire to birth a child and my children’s desire to have their birth mom are God-given desires…to not feel guilty, but embrace them as God-given.”
- God has made us in His image.
Genesis 1:26 NKJV Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…
Rhoda realized that God made us to desire relationship.
- Our hearts still desire that perfect relationship with God and with others.
- God’s “plan B” included our adoption into God’s family.
- It was brutal and bloody for God to adopt us into His family.
- The all powerful, limitless God had to become limited into the womb of a woman.
- Jesus had to live a sinless life, then be rejected.
- Rhoda felt rejected by the children that she had sacrificed her life for.
- We expect others to recognize what we have done for them.
- Jesus was rejected by everyone.
- Adoption is about growing together as a family.
- Rhoda’s pain helped her relate to the pain her children had.
- God wants to see Himself reflected in us.
- We are given God’s grace for what He calls us into.
The Holy Spirit Draws Us
- As parents we tend to have a false sense of control over our children.
- Even as adults, we need boundaries.
- It is our job to raise our children in the knowledge of the Lord.
- However it’s the work of the Holy Spirit that actually calls and draws their hearts.
- If we parent out of fear, we can end up hurting rather than helping.
- Rhoda realized that our children are God’s children that are given to us to raise, but ultimately they belong to the Lord.
- It’s not our job to do the work of the Holy Spirit in our children’s lives.
- God can redeem the stupid things we do.
- It is our job to pray and give godly counsel when asked.
Rhoda’s Keys for the Tough Times
- The trying and good times all balance together.
- Rhoda didn’t experience the depth of joy until she experienced the depth of pain.
- God is faithful and steadfast.
- He is patiently waiting for us to get to the end of ourselves.
- God accepts us with full forgiveness.
- He desires to be in a relationship with us.
- He loves us above everything else.
- We need to be intentional about our relationship with the Lord.
- Don’t compare yourself to others.
- God’s thoughts of us reflect who we truly are.
Micah 6:8 AMP He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you except to be just, and to love [and to diligently practice] kindness (compassion), and to walk humbly with your God [setting aside any overblown sense of importance or self-righteousness]?
- God is greater than our mistakes.
- Esther was willing to go before a king, risking her life, to save the lives of her people.
- God placed her in that place of history at that time for that role.
- Where Rhoda is now, in her needy state, she constantly goes before her loving King and Lord and petitions for the lives of her children.
Romans 8:23-28 NLT And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved…. And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness…. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
- Rhoda longed for that transformation that would release her from the sin that has been revealed in her life.
- God is faithful to transform us when we say “Yes, Lord.”
Matthew 11:28-30 NIV “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
- Will God Ever Give Us More Than We Can Handle? by John Piper
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