J.R.R. Tolkien once wrote:
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
I have have always held these words dear since the first time I read them. I love that it speaks to the hidden strength in people, and of their resilience in times of trouble. People are capable of great endurance, and they must be, for times are evil. (Ephesians 5:6)
I have been pondering these words lately as Zach and I are preparing our hearts and our home to receive foster children. I wonder about these sweet little people who are out there, somewhere, hurting. They are being abused and neglected, even this very moment. They may know nothing of peace, nothing of joy. These beloved ones may even have just been conceived and are unsafe in their mother´s wombs and do not yet know of the hardship that awaits them at their arrival. I wonder at these babies, hoping and praying that they will find their way to us and to safety. There are so many, so many, of God´s most precious loves who are crying out in their spirits to be loved and hoping to be rescued.
GOOD NEWS, we serve the God who saves! (Psalms 68:20). God uses His church, which are His people to be His body. Every person in the body of believers has been given special gifts to serve the Father. We are called to be His body, His hands and feet, that love and comfort and serve the people of the world (1 Corinthians 12). Zach and I have heard that call. I know in my heart of hearts that I am called to serve His children, namely the children being abused and neglected here in our area.
Some people may think that in order to serve God that you need to be a pastor or a missionary in a far away country. But God has called me here. His children cry out to Him here. They go to our schools and they live in our neighborhoods. And they need us! In the words of Isaiah 6:8, ¨Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
Amen, send me.
I am so stuck by James 1:27, ¨Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.¨ To read those words! The Lord our God had not called us to only be good people and go about our lives. He calls us to more, to greater, to higher. He asks, ¨Peter, do you love me?¨ Then feed my sheep.¨ I want to feed his sheep, so so desperately.
DEFEND THE WEAK AND FATHERLESS says the Lord. UPHOLD THE CAUSE OF THE POOR AND OPPRESSED. RESCUE THE WEEK AND THE NEEDY; DELIVER THEM FROM THE HANDS OF THE WICKED. Psalms 82:4 writes.
There is such power in the Word. And I believe my God is who He says is. He is mighty to save. I believe His heart is for us. He desires chains to be broken. He wants to break cycles of cursing within people´s families and for their generations to come. He wants to use us to do it. I know we cannot in our own humanity seek to save all the lost, but I can start with one. One child. One life. And a chance to show them that God is good, so good. And He loves you deeply, no matter what your experience has been so far in your young sweet life.
This is why I love J.R.R. Tolkien´s words. Not all those who wander are lost. Though these children may wander the earth, from home to home, carrying their questions:
¨Does God really love me?¨ ¨Am I worth it?¨ ¨Who will rescue me?¨
He. will. answer. them:
¨I DO, YOU ARE, I WILL.¨
They are not lost, because they are the innocent ones. They are not lost because God has them right here, in His hands.
There is promise in Tolkien´s words. ¨From the ashes a fire shall be woken.¨ AMEN, AMEN. We will not allow the fatherless to remain broken. There is fire in them and it will be awakened in the power of Christ. Praise God, FOR GREATER IS HE THAT IS IN ME THAN HE THAT IS IN THE WORLD (1 John 4:4).
Special Education Teacher (Snyder, TX)