I could talk to you all day and tell you stories, statistics, and reason after reason about why you should be involved in foster care. But I don’t want to try to convince you - I want to pray for you. My arguments are empty, but prayer has a lasting effect that changes hearts.
I am not a foster parent yet, but I’ve been involved with foster care in some capacity for about 7 years now. In my own life, I have noticed that when I think about my future, specifically becoming a foster parent, fear is there. But I’ve learned that anxiety is what happens when we picture the future without Jesus. When I am ready to assume the worst will happen, or that tragedy and hardships are what will always be in store, Jesus has been so kind to remind me over and over - ”NO! I have plans to prosper you and not to harm you! Plans to give you hope and a future!” That promise is not only for me - but for my husband, the foster children we will one day welcome, and even any future children of our own!
Even as I write this I feel conviction over the times I have just accepted the thought that foster care will be hard, as if that’s the absolute truth. Isn’t that just what the enemy wants? To entangle our thoughts about these precious and helpless children with fear and hesitation? The enemy would have you associate them with fear and dread, Christ would have you associate them with Him.
“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you took Me in, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you visited Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? When did we see You sick or in prison and visit You?’ And the King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me." Matthew 25: 34-40
The seriousness of foster care is not greater than the seriousness of following Jesus. What I mean by that is that yes, you will encounter hard and heavy things when you step closer to foster care. You will encounter the seriousness of what these kids are going through. But what is even more serious, is your obedience to the Lord of your life. Jesus has said yes to these children, and He calls us to as well. Our life is not our own. And I believe that when we take our obedience to Jesus seriously, we will begin to take our call to foster care seriously, and the Lord will use His people to bring change to not only the foster care system, but the individual lives of these children who will “restore places that have long been devastated” (Isaiah 61:4).
When we turn our eyes upon Jesus, the things of this world grow strangely dim. Our fear takes its rightful place - bowed down at the feet of Jesus. Our yes held safely in His hands. Our joy complete.
I know these children need someone to lovingly and gently teach them how to cope with fear in their own lives. Perhaps God wants to use you in this way? Will these children watch us live in the peace of Christ as we trust Him with our lives, or will they watch us question Him and live in fear?
Something I think of often: one day I will stand face to face with Jesus, my savior and friend. Every decision I make, I want to make with that in mind. I want to be able to look into His eyes and say, “I gave you my every yes!”
My prayer today: (maybe this is what your heart needs, too?)
Lord, forgive me for listening to fear instead of You. Thank you for your promises that encourage and remind me that I do not need to be afraid. I thank you that you are not asking us to be a savior to these children, you’re asking us to trust that that’s who you are! I pray for these children who are experiencing things we will probably never understand. Teach me how to not turn a blind eye out of discomfort, but also how to not fall into hopelessness as I witness these hard things. Remind me of eternity. Remind me of your strength. Help me give my yes to you today, and not worry about tomorrow. I know you will provide what we need at the time that it is needed. If you dress the lilies with beauty and splendor, how much more do you love your children and will provide us with everything we need! You are a good Father! I love you and I trust you. Amen.