Delighting in Orphans

Delight in OrphansDiscussing orphans and orphan care often becomes depressing. There are so many seemingly insurmountable problems, so much suffering. Even our reasons for caring about orphans as Christians often sound dreary. We “grieve for what grieves God’s heart,” which is a good thing, but my tendency (and, I expect, that of others as well) is to get stuck in the enormity of the problem. Philippians 4:6 says,

Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Being careful (or anxious) doesn’t do anyone much good. It doesn’t help us or the orphans we are concerned for. But God takes things a step further in Psalm 40:8,

I delight to do thy will, O my God…

These words were spoken prophetically about Jesus, but I think they apply to us as well. How can we delight in doing God’s will by serving orphans? How can we keep from becoming anxious and overwhelmed?

God’s got it under control.

…the poor committeth himself unto thee, thou art the helper of the fatherless. –Psalm 10:14

We have all heard the phrase that God loves someone more than we do. He loves our family more than we do. He loves our friends more than we do. Well, he also loves each and every orphan more than we do. While we see numbers, He sees the intimate details of each child’s life. I can’t explain why so many of these children suffer so much and are never rescued. But time and again I come back the understanding that I don’t need to understand. As Corrie Ten Booms father once explained to her,

It would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It’s the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger, you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you.

Our job is to do what we can, but we don’t need to try to carry a knowledge too heavy for us. Surrendering that anxiety to God can free us to serve more joyfully.

Orphans are fearfully and wonderfully made.Psalm 139-14

I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. –Psalm 139:14

Just like every other person, orphans are marvelous, wonderful creations of God’s hands. As a homeschooled student, I’ve attended many homeschool conference. Many times I’ve heard speakers encourage parents to step back from the incessant concerns, problems, and challenges of raising their children, and take time to delight in their kids. To appreciate their talents, their strengths, their potential. I think the same is true of orphans. We get bogged down in the magnitude of the problems and forget to be amazed and inspired by  the care God put into making them. The way their hands move, the smiles that cross their faces…everything about them is a miracle crafted by the hands of God.

Orphans are a blessing.

Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. –Mark 10:14

Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. –Psalm 127:3

The concept of children being a blessing has largely been lost in our culture, yet the Bible is quite clear that they are. Orphans are no exception to this rule. They are gifts to be treasured and loved.

As you seek to partner with God’s heart by helping orphans, don’t become discouraged. Delight in doing the Lords work instead of letting it become depressing and overwhelming.

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. –Galatians 6:9-10

Do you take joy in serving orphans? Can you find God’s hand at work in their lives? Can you share any examples of  delighting in orphans?

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