Did you know that there are approximately 100,000 children in foster care (right here in America) waiting (legally free-no parent’s attached) to be adopted? Did you also know that there are over 300,000 churches in America? This means that if just 1 family out of every 3 churches, softened their hearts to God’s call to ‘care for the orphan’ that America would have no orphaned children. Wow. Clearly God’s call to care for the orphans is perfect-He never intended for them to be left without a family. This tells me that someone, somewhere is not listening, not moving when called…for whatever reason, closing their eyes-turning away from God’s beautiful will for their life. Sadly they are not only denying a child the home God designed for them, they are missing out on the priceless gift of experiencing a life lived in God’s perfect will…more than likely exchanging the opportunity of a miracle-filled life, for one of earthly ‘comfort’ leaving both the life of the child and the planned family void of God’s beauty.
This thought continues to plague me daily.
I wish that I could show you the heart that God molds as we welcome in ‘the least of these’ and trust in Gods provision each day. I wish that you could see the beauty in the brokenness, the strength that is born in our weakness and the priceless gift of seeing God’s hand at work as He brings it all together for good. If people could see this…if they could trust God’s will, there would be no orphans left.
I received this from Proverbs 31 Ministries this morning and had to share. If you feel God move in your heart as you read please stop and pray-ask for Him to lead you and be willing to move your feet.
Proverbs 31 Ministries-
MARCH 27, 2015
“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 (ESV)
Once while attending a conference I found myself browsing through the vendor section.
Most, if not all, of the vendors had products available where the proceeds would be invested directly into a ministry or mission project designed to change the lives of people near and far.
The idea that my purchase could in some way be a small contribution to Kingdom work propelled me to actively seek something that I wanted to wear, use or display in my home.
I paused in front of a table featuring art prints with various inspirational quotes and verses. It was like a sea of words.
I figured that somewhere on that table were words I would want to display in my home. Words that would inspire me and spur me on to be the person God wanted me to be.
I found those words. But they weren’t the warm and fuzzy words I was looking for. The kind that would make me want to smile when I walked by them in my home.
Instead I found words that cut deep and convicted me beyond my expectation. Words that inspired me … but solemnly. Words that did not yield a cozy experience, but certainly lit a fire within my heart and soul. The print said:
“Real love bleeds.”
I bought it.
Loving people can be hard work. It can be even harder when the love you give requires the very essence of who you are to flow through wounds inflicted by the ones your heart beats for.
When I read these three small words penned by this artist-turned-missionary, I stopped in my tracks because I knew I had been doing exactly the opposite in my life.
Instead of being willing to “bleed” for the ones I loved the most, I had slipped into full-on apathy.
Why? Because sometimes caring for and loving others doesn’t feel good.
Sometimes, it’s easier not to love.
Over time, and unbeknownst to me, I had become an expert at self-preservation and pain avoidance.
Anything that hurt, I didn’t touch — including the people I loved the most.
I grieved as I realized that the very love Jesus continually offered me — the same love that came at His own great personal discomfort and eventual agony — was unfortunately the kind of love I’d become unwilling to consistently offer.
Why? Because sometimes loving others hurts.
As I stood there and pulled out my wallet to purchase the simple yet beautiful print, I realized that great love comes at a great cost — as evidenced by the example of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for my sins, which we see in today’s key verse.
I remembered His illustration of love for me and recalled His command that I follow in His steps: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34, ESV).
Now, let me concede this. I am completely aware that everyone who causes us pain should not be an automatic recipient of our deepest level of sacrifice. However, I am acutely aware of my own need to assess my willingness to love like Christ loves me and to sacrifice for those to whom I am called.
What I know for certain is this: There are times when the love I have for others is not a matter of feeling, but rather a matter of my decision to be obedient to Him — and it won’t feel good.
The question is, when real love results in my personal discomfort or even a heart-wrenching level of pain, am I willing to love well anyway?
Father, thank You for Your love — a love that never fails and never gives up on me. You are the perfect example of a great love — a love that is offered full-strength even when love is not given in return. Help me to love like You. I want to honor You by doing my best to love others in the way You have loved me — even when it hurts. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.