As I’ve written about recently
, Michelle and I have been going through the foster certification to become licensed foster parents. In Arizona alone, there are currently more than fourteen thousand kids displaced without a home.
So here’s an update: it’s getting harder and harder for us.
Keep in mind, we still haven’t “done anything” yet. We are still plugging away at our weekly classes and other requirements. But week after week of hearing stories of despair about kids starts to take its toll. Although tempting, the solution isn’t to abandon the training and remove ourselves from the opportunity to bring new children into our home. The solution we need in this situation and any situation in which reality creates a sense of despair is to figure out what God is doing in all of it.
I once read a powerful quote from Wolfgang Simson addressing this feeling: â€œA spiritual stronghold is a mindset, impregnated with hopelessness, which causes us to accept as unchangeable, that which we know to be contrary to the will of God.â€
I’m privileged to have Greg Boyd as one of my mentors. I was talking through all of this with him last week and he shared a story with me I’ll never forget. He said he also shares a sensitivity to harm done to children. For him, the Holocaust has been particularly hard for him to move past. In particular, the children that were killed during that time.
One day he was dwelling on this and spent concentrated time in prayer about it. As he described it, he saw a vision of a playground full of kids in Holocaust clothing. In the center of the activity was Jesus. The kids were laughing and tugging on His beard. In the vision, Greg asks Jesus a pointed question:
“Why won’t you protect them?”
When he got to this part of the story, Greg began to tear up (we were on a video chat). Then he told me the last part of his vision. Jesus didn’t answer his question but instead looked directly at Greg and said this:
“I’m going to make it up to them.”
I realize that the above sentence isn’t written in the Bible. But in the context in which Greg explained it to me it serves as one of the most powerful, most tangible, examples of the heart of Christ. I haven’t stopped thinking of that sentence since I heard Greg tell me about it last week.
I look at the more than fourteen thousand kids without a family in my state alone and wonder, why won’t Jesus protect them?
For you, the situation could be different.
- You may look at your health issues and wonder, why won’t Jesus protect you?
- You may look at someone who has wronged you and wonder, why didn’t Jesus protect you?
- You may look at someone close to you who is hurting and wonder, why won’t Jesus protect them?
- You may look at any one of the countless examples of suffering in this world and wonder, why won’t Jesus protect them?
What if the answer to these questions and the many more that we could ask this for, is that Jesus is going to make it up in a way that we can barely even begin to imagine?
Then I saw â€œa new heaven and a new earth,â€ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, â€œLook! Godâ€™s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. â€˜He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more deathâ€™ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.â€ He who was seated on the throne said, â€œI am making everything new!â€ Then he said, â€œWrite this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.â€
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