As I’ve reflected on my time in China, God has reminded me of the great need to love. No matter where God has placed me, I’m called to make the most of the opportunity to love those around me. I keep coming back to Ephesians 3:14-21 where it talks about the glorious riches of the Father, the mighty power of the Spirit, and the incomprehensible love of Christ. We’re told to love as God first loved us, and His love is active and life-changing. He loved us so much that he adopted us as his sons and daughters! I’ve really loved the idea of being adopted into God’s family ever since my family first adopted, but this trip to Maria’s gave Romans 8:12-17 a whole new meaning to me.
“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’” (Romans 8:14-15)
In China, I realized that if we were adopted, we were once orphans.
During our orphan training on the trip, we explored what it means to be an orphan. An orphan is more than someone who has lost their parents. It’s someone who experiences utter brokenness in every area of their life. Children who are left without parents are impacted in their family life, social life, education, and every other aspect of life.
They live in a broken world.
And because of the fall, we’re all born into a broken world.
We’re all orphans, living a life filled with broken relationships.
But then God…
I love coming across that phrase in the Bible! After reading about man’s brokenness, it’s so encouraging to read “But God…”
“But then God our Savior showed us his kindness and love.” (Titus 3:4)
How beautiful is that? In order to call us His sons and daughters, God sacrificed His blameless, holy Son on a cursed cross in the place of dirty, hate-filled sinners.
I like how Show Hope’s training book redefined orphan:
“An orphan is someone who has experienced profound brokenness in fundamental relationships and systems as a result of the loss of God’s intended parental relationships. The Fall has ripped from each of us God’s intended relationships in many ways, and nobody has an unspoiled relationship with their parents or their Heavenly Father.”
God is restoring our broken relationship with Him. Meanwhile, we can (and should) help bring restoration to the lives of the precious children around the world who don’t have families. I’ve seen more of their great need through this trip, and it’s heartbreaking! We can show God’s active and life-changing love to these kids. Whether it’s through prayer, donations, missions trips, foster care, or adoption, I believe we are all called to care for them. John Wesley puts it very bluntly:
So my challenge for myself and for you is to love. Love in a way that changes the lives of those around you. Pray and ask God how He is asking you to care for orphans.
Through this trip, my perspective of others has changed. Everyone was or still is an orphan. But for the grace of God, we’re all broken. I’m so thankful for His beautiful plan of adoption!
If we’re willing, God can use us to help mend and love the people around us who are broken. He places us in people’s lives for a purpose.