To all those families struggling with foster children, to all those families with newly adopted children, to all those families with children struggling physically, mentally, or emotionally: Take Heart. God is with you. You are doing one of the best things you can for your children.
Did God not know that foster children would need a lot of help? Did God not know that orphans might have attachment issues? Did God not know that children that have been abandoned might need a prescription for their care? Did God not know that children would struggle?
Yes, he did know. So what was his prescription for healing for children like this? Can we find a biblical response from the ultimate father on how we should help them? Yes we can find one.
“Father to the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. God settles the solitary in a home…”
“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this, to visit orphans and widows in the affliction…”
There are many more examples of Scripture like this in the Bible, but notice just a few things from the verses.
1. In the way these verses identify God as the Father. James makes it a point to add the identity as God the Father when speaking about what God finds as pure religion. The Psalmist David, does the exact same thing. He makes it a point to show God as the ultimate father. They both talk about what God does in the context of familial relationship.
2. “Visiting Orphans” is more than just meeting their daily needs. Many other verses in the Bible talk of the way God visited us through Jesus Christ his Son. So the idea behind visiting goes beyond daily needs and to what truly makes a person whole, physically, spiritually, and emotionally, the Gospel. ( Psalms 8:4 and Hebrews 2:6-8)
3. The psalmist seems to tell us that God the father, settles the fatherless in a home, that is to say, a family. James seems to be saying the same thing when we realize that “visiting orphans” has a much deeper meaning than just meeting practical needs.
My simple point is this. When you feel like you don’t know what to do for the children God has placed in your life, when you don’t know what new drug might be the best for their sickness, or if some type of therapy is needed; take heart! You have already started to do what God ultimately wants you to do. You have given them a family, you have given them a home, you have taken an orphan and made them into something bigger than themselves. You have given them an identity that is bigger than themselves, that they will carry with them, and that God has prescribed to them to help make them whole. You have started them on their redemptive journey by making them a part of a family. God has already given you the most powerful medicine, Gospel-centered living in the context of family. Take heart. Keep building your family, powered by the Greatest Father through the Grace poured out through His Son Jesus Christ and made clear through the Holy Spirit.