Caring for children in need is not a natural decision.

If it were instinctive, far more people would do it. And God wouldn’t need to remind us throughout the Bible to make it a priority.

Caring for children in need—whether working in Southeast Asia to rescue children from trafficking, or taking a child into your home for respite care, or anything in between—is the choice to run toward trauma and conflict when most people would prefer to run away. In many cases, it requires us to open our lives, hearts, and homes to unbelievable hurt.

While there is great beauty to be found in joining God where He is working, there is also deep pain. So what keeps people committed to the calling over the long haul?

Where do pain and purpose meet?

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The greatest example

Throughout the New Testament, we see Jesus moving toward vulnerable people. From the man born blind to the woman at the well to the ones of whom Christ said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them” we see the heart of God to move toward vulnerability. So Christlikeness demands we do the same.

Today, as a direct result of sin and evil, our world is filled with unspeakable suffering. And children—easily the most vulnerable group of people on the planet—are the least to blame for the world’s problems, yet the first to pay the price.

Their vulnerability leaves them susceptible to the worst kind of pain:
being unknown and unloved.

Every country in the world has children in need who are waiting for someone like Jesus to show up and meet them in their suffering. 

How we—as followers of Christ—respond to these children says more about our faith than just about anything.

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Where pain and purpose meet

So what sustains us over the long haul while we wait for Jesus to redeem all things?

What do we do with endless nights of broken sleep, of tears behind closed doors, of exasperating phone calls and canceled parent meetings? What do we do when the social worker calls and asks us if we can take just one more child? What do we do when our motives are questioned or our pleas for help go unheard?

Where does pain and purpose meet on a daily basis?

Answer: They meet—today and always—in the Gospel.

When we were at our most vulnerable, God pursued us and drew us to Himself.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ … so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:4-7).

 

In brokenness and beauty, it is well.

It wasn’t natural for Jesus, the perfect Son of God, to go to the Cross. We know this because of the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39).

It wasn’t natural for Him to suffer and die on our behalf. And yet He did. And since that moment, the really good and the really hard meet in the reality that God did it for us. And now He will empower us every day to do His work for the most vulnerable.

So why do we do this? In the words of Jedd Medefind, President of Christian Alliance for Orphans—

Because this is the life we do most desire, despite its costliness. Because our Savior embraced it too, on our behalf.  And, most of all, because even in the darkest moments, we know that the powerful hands of our loving Father are beneath and above and all around us. 

This is how we say It is well.

 

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