“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” – Zephaniah 3:17
Imagine that you are a child that was unwanted from the time you were born. Everything about you was wrong. Born to the wrong parents, wrong gender, wrong size, wrong disposition, wrong intelligence; everything is wrong. Your parents never stop criticizing, constantly telling you to be quiet, telling you that you are stupid, that you are an embarrassment and finally saying, “I can’t stand the sight of you, I wish you had never been born.”
Yes, that is an extreme case, but the reality is that there are millions of kids out there who are at this moment wondering if anyone truly cares. And many of those kids who feel abandoned and betrayed are wondering, where’s God? To them, He feels like a distant, impersonal force? Nothing could be further from the truth. God’s love for the orphan is visible throughout the Bible. It is very clear where His heart lies and that He’s called us to join Him to help the orphans all over the world. But here’s the thing. It takes getting involved. Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you take an active interest. But once you do, everything changes.
Saint Augustine said this: “What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has the eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.” We cannot change the world. Only Jesus can do that. We can, however, change the world for one person. We can show an orphan in our area that somebody does care and that there is a God that loves them more than they can know.
Many people wonder what true religion really is. The Bible leaves no doubt. James 1:27 says, “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you”
Once we realize how much God loves us and what He went through to adopt us into His family, we really have only two responses. First, it’ll clarify to you how much your life matters. Second, it should make us sensitive to the plight of orphans around the world.
- What are the needs of orphans today? Have those needs changed over the years?
- Why do you think orphans and widows are mentioned in James 1:27?
- What steps can you take to make your heart more like God’s with regard to orphans?