How I felt at the orphanage is only a small fraction of how God feels. I asked Him to break my heart for what breaks His and at the orphanage He showed me what it means to do that. In His faithfulness however, He did not allow my heart to be broken as much as His was and is continually broken. He knows that in my fragile human condition I would not be able to handle that much grief. Imagine how much I longed to stay with those babies, how I longed to bring each one of them home with me. To make them them understand that they are special, they are loved, and they are intensely desired. Now magnify those feelings, those intense emotions, those gut wrenching hearts stopping moments. Magnify those to anything greater than you have ever felt. That is just a glimpse of how much God feels about everyone on this earth. That is how he feels about you, about me. We are all orphaned. Isolated here on this earth, separated forever by sin. He sees us and longs to be with His children. He desires to bring us home and show us a world we could never even dream of. He desires to lavish us will all his love and show us how special we are, how loved we are, how desired we are. He longs to show us and make us understand how priceless we are. He desires His children to be home with Him. The sinful world and desires of our flesh are the orphanage that we, as humans, find ourselves in. God, in His unending love and faithfulness, paid for our freedom. He has gone through the costly adoption process to have al of us as His own. It cost Him everything He loved, everything He had and held dear. He did it all to gain you and me. To adopt us, to adopt the world; all His children. Because of Jesus and His incredible act of love and power, through not only His death but His resurrection, we have al been freed from the walls of the orphanage. Yet in our distress of God and our identities in Him, we look at what God has offered to us as a loving Father and decide to stay put in the dirty orphanage. We trust our mediocre lifestyle because it is “safe” and known, rather than go on to the unknown but fulfilling life of following our Daddy. Oh how His heart must shatter for each and everyone of us who make that decision. I can’t imagine how I would feel if I said to one of those sweet babies at the orphanage, “Come with me. I want to show you how great life can be. You deserve so much better than what you have because you are so special. Not because you have done anything, but simply because you are you. Let me take you home and love you with all the love I have to offer. I want to give you the best life you could ever have. I love you and I want you to be mine. Would you like to be my child? Would you come home with me today?” What if I said that with the purest and most genuine emotions flowing from my heart and that child looked at me and looked back at the orphanage. What if that child let go of my hand, backed up and said, “No. I think I’ll just stay put. I know it here. It’s really no that bad. Thanks anyway.” I know that sounds absurd, but so many times that situation actually happens. God pours His heart out and we look at Him, we look at our filthy surroundings, and decide to stay put. Covered in filth and grime, hungry and sick, we decide to stay because the life God has offered is to much change to be comfortable with. We would rather be isolated than surrounded by the amazing love of our Father. No wonder His heart is so broken. The Bible is filled with scripture about God desiring us. Begging us to come to Him, to find rest in Him, to allow Him to provide for us. He wants to bring His children home and lavish His love on each of us.
James 1:27 Pure and genuine religion religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for the orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
Isaiah 1:17 Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of the orphans. Fight for the rights of the widows.
The command to take care of the orphans is scattered all over scripture. The sad truth is that the result of sin, a broken and ugly world has erupted. Orphans are an innocent victim of the consequences of that sin. Yet God in His sovereignty has allowed good to shine from such destruction. Take care of the orphans. A simple command with eternal significance. Not only in the life of the orphan, but also in that of the care taker. For it is in caring for those who have been isolated and abandoned that we catch a glimpse of the heart of God. A heart that longs for us to be with Him. A heart that desires to lavish unending love. It is in this perspective shift that we can most glorify God. By taking care of His beloved children we can see ourselves as orphans by choice and then choose to leave our life of bondage and pain. We can come home to a Dad who can’t wait to wrap us up safe in His arms,
Why does God allow orphans in this world? I think that is the very reason. A tangible source of the beating heart of our Creator.