This week has been one filled with a lot of joy. New married life has been lovely and work has been pretty great, but there has been something else that has been occupying my thoughts and putting a smile on my face all week. Dear, wonderful friends of mine got to meet their daughter for the first time, in Ethiopia, and have a court tell them that she is officially theirs.
Now you may wonder why this has me so joy-filled, or why it’s absolutely consumed me this week, and I regret that I haven’t talked about my deepest passion on this blog enough, or maybe even at all (at least recently). So let me start from the beginning.
Over the years, I have loved children. For babysitting, I was the go-to girl. I have begun to realize though, how much God loves children. His heart is overwhelmed for His children, and I believe He would do anything for them.
I believe though, that God has a specific love for His hurting children of the world. And I am not just talking children the way we do, I mean anyone who is lonely, heartbroken, wounded, suffering, starving, dying… Anyone.
You see, God’s heart is burdened and weeps for those of us who are suffering. He sent His only son to die for us so that He could ADOPT us into His family. So that we could lay our burdens on Him.
But I don’t think He wants the process of adoption to end there. I truly, and deeply believe that God has called those whom He has adopted, to go out and do the same. Please don’t misunderstand, I do not believe that every Christian family is called to go through adoption process, but I do believe that we are called to adopt the lonely, the poor in spirit, the suffering into our churches, into our families, into our homes. We are called to love the “unlovable”.
I believe that Jesus actually meant what He said in Matthew 25: 31-46.
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Do we live like this? Do we live like we are touching Jesus when we encounter those who seem less than “desirable” or when we see the commercials on TV that make foreign countries look like other worlds that are impossible to truly help? Do we turn away when Jesus looks us in the eye?
Or do we take action, move in His direction, follow where He is leading?
I believe that is the only way we can truly love Jesus while we are here on earth.
There are countless verses that talk about God’s love for the least. Here are just two that are pretty convincing to me:
“Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.” Isaiah 1:17
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”– James 1:27
Let’s look at our lives. Do we honestly live like this stuff matters to us? Like this stuff matters to GOD?
So the reason I was so filled with joy this week, is because I honestly believe that God was so glorified through my friends. Through the union of their family. I believe this is some of what the Psalmist was talking about when scripture says,
“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families.”–Psalm 68:5-6
God sets the lonely in families. What a beautiful picture of His love for us.