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August 1, 2021 | Javan Shashaty
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“A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation.”—Psalm 68:5 (NKJV)
Hiking in the mountains is a favorite activity for our family. For some of our family, it’s the highlight of the vacation and something they look forward to. For others, like me, it’s something we go along with in the beginning—then love once we conquer the hike.
On a recent hike, my husband tried to motivate me to finish. “Just look at the top of the mountain and it will help you get there.” No, that didn’t help. That only made me feel overwhelmed with the distance remaining. I had to focus on the next bend in the trail. I knew I could make it that far.
In some ways, caring for an orphan is like hiking a mountain. The challenge with being a “father to the fatherless” is that these children have experienced such trauma that parenting them can be difficult. Nothing makes sense in their world. It’s as if they are a ship in rough seas, and just about the time you think the waters are calming down, another wave crashes over them and turns their world—and your home—into chaos.
And yet, the Bible says this is God’s holy habitation. Caring for children the world has “thrown away” is an act of holiness. I believe this is true because God sees the view from the top of the mountain. He sees His creation as He designed it to be with all the gifts, talents, and dreams He so beautifully placed in each life and heart.
I watch my son-in-law, John, parent his foster son. He is a big man who has played hockey all his life, and when his son is sitting in his lap, he seems so small and vulnerable.
Often, foster parents feel helpless in knowing how to help little ones process their pain. It feels like that mountain. Yet I see in my son-in-law the ability to focus on the next bend in the road. He never seems overwhelmed. He trusts God to get them to the top.
We, too, have to trust that God is at the top of this mountain and He sees the path set before us. He knows the journey will be difficult, but He also knows how beautiful the view is. Focus on the next bend in the road and you will make it to the top.
DIG: What mountain are you trying to climb in your life right now? What is the one thing that seems out of reach?
DISCOVER: Find a place in your journey that you can accomplish. What is your bend in the road that seems doable this week?
DISPLAY: Focus on the next bend, and trust God to get you to the top of the mountain.