Be their Father. Defend their cause. Give them food and clothing. Not to forget them. These are just a few of the many promises God makes to the orphaned child. What we can easily forget is that we, too, receive each of these promises. Will you join us over the next twelve months as we dive into God’s promises to the orphan and what they each mean for our individual stories, too? You’ll hear from dedicated field staff as they share the ways God is teaching them how He never forgets, walks away from, or leaves us behind.
“Leave your fatherless children; I will keep them alive. Your widows too can depend on me.” Jeremiah 49:11
Field story from Meredith Shuman, Back2Back Mazatlán Staff
There are two types of people – those who like the “Splash Zone” and those who do not. If you’ve ever been to Sea World, you’ve had to make your own choice whether or not to sit in the front row.
Serving and raising kids who have experienced devastating challenges is like parking your life in the Splash Zone. It is both fun and messy to be in the front row. The splashes are unpredictable. They come from all angles. Sometimes they cool you off, and sometimes you’re soaked to the bone as discouragement creeps in.
Towards the end of the book of Jeremiah, we read about God’s wrath and judgment. Jehovah Most High has been patient, but He has had enough. And then in 49:11, He stops.
“Leave your orphans; I will protect their lives. Your widows too can trust in me.”
In spite of the weakness and failures of others, God will never leave them, He will protect them. I hear a dare to God’s call – almost like He is saying, I dare you (Edom) to leave those in need; I am fiercely with them, no matter what you do.
As many victories as I can boast about in the Lord, I’ve also seen hearts shattered. I’ve even had to pick up a few pieces of my own heart. Here’s the truth . . . Christ lives in the center of suffering. He gets it, knows it, and has livedit. If you and I have surrendered to Jesus as Lord of our lives – then, by His grace, we’re adopted. Our orphan status is now a thing of the past. We’ve been grafted into His family. He is wholly withus in the suffering. He will never, and has never, left us!
The next time the enemy, or our own selves, want to whisper, “You’re alone. You’re misunderstood. You’re singular in this struggle,” we can remember the root to which we’ve been grafted. A grafted root (that’s us) can’t be without the core root – it’s physically impossible. We cannot be left. The orphaned and vulnerable child cannot be left behind. Even if we are the wildest and untamed root in the bunch – we are still grafted in, and our only true nourishment comes from Him.
As a mission trip guest, or as someone in a new season, adventure, or in the midst of change, you have entered into the Splash Zone. You may be very familiar with it, or this might be your first time. You are going to see and experience God’s mighty hand at work. There are many joys, victories, and miracles going on around you. You might also see some hard. What would it be like to live in a wheelchair?What would my life look like, growing up, if I had to share a bedroom with many other girls?How can I comfort this hurting child in front of me?
How can we brace for the splashes? We do NOT do it alone. We are grafted into His family as a holy priesthood – anointed, spoken on behalf of, and accounted for. Enter into relationship with a child knowing we have the same Father, and are loved with the same intensity. This is where the story begins.
How do you think God feels when He meets us in the middle of hurt? What does this tell us about His character?