Samuel has a court hearing tomorrow at 9:00. It’s a hard thing to explain. When you are a foster parent and are in the day to day with your foster child, you don’t let yourself think of the lack of permanency or the long term plan. You constantly push it to the back of your mind for the sake of the child. You don’t think of the possible pain of losing that child. You have to take the day that you have been given with that child, and do them justice by that day. The child can’t afford a parent who is steeling themselves against the pain that the future might hold, so you dive in with your whole heart and depend on God to carry you through. And then, its as if all of a sudden a court hearing creeps up on you and its as if it is staring at you and almost mocking you as you stare back fearing the worst. Case workers, adoption workers, attorneys come over. Your knees tremble, your heart is pounding, fear takes over and you realize how much you are not depending on an all powerful God who knew this child before the foundations of the earth were laid. Although, my faith may be that of a mustard seed, that is all that that He needs. He knows my innermost thoughts, He knows my dreams and nightmares, He is aware of every tear that falls. He loves each and every child on this earth beyond our comprehension. So I will trust Him with my fears. I will trust Him with my dreams. I will trust Him with my child. Because He loves Him more than I do, and I trust His plan more than I trust my own. I will lean on His word that says that He is a Father to the Fatherless and defender of the weak. I will not fear, because my God goes before me and He will uphold me with His mighty right hand. (Psalm 82:4, Psalm 68:5, Isaiah 41:10)
The picture of his wide curious eyes peeking over a pink bunny blanket will forever be burned in my memory. Samuel was not quite 2 months old when he was dropped off to us late on a cold December night and he was amazingly awake and alert. I remember being startled when I pulled him out of his car seat to find him in nothing but an oversized white onesie. The cps worker mumbled some of the details he was required to give and then went out into the darkness leaving us with this tiny little baby boy that had barely escaped death that night. With every baby that we have ever had from foster care, we have ended up in the hospital very quickly after their arrival. With Samuel, he had RSV which turned into very severe bronchiolitis. In so many words, the doctor said, “he is less than 48 hours away from death. His airways will close and he will stop breathing if you don’t get him to the hospital immediately.” We spent a week at Children’s Hospital trying to get his breathing stabilized. His second escape from death’s door. Satan is after this one, but God reached down twice with His mighty hand and rescued this little boy from the very clutches of death. What a God we have! He is mindful and cares for a helpless infant, and yet I question Him and His goodness with trivial things every single day! Samuel’s parental rights were terminated in May. He turns one on Thursday and is still awaiting permanency and adoption but remains at the mercy of Wayne County court. When you think of it this week. The week he turns one. Pray for him. Pray for his future. A future filled with promise. Pray that God will reach down once again and protect him from the harm that the evil one has planned. Satan has destroyed generations of Samuel’s family. He doesn’t intend on this child breaking his cycle of death and destruction. He is putting up a pretty big fight. God hears our prayers and tells us that “the prayers of the righteous are powerful.” Help us lift Sam up in prayer and bring Him to the very throne room of heaven. You can play a role in helping rewrite the story of his life.
I read recently about a little 2 year old girl in an orphanage in China who died of starvation because of a cleft lip and an open palate. The cost of the surgery that would have saved that little girl’s life was $250. That is something that never would have stood in our way in saving one of our own children. Let me say clearly that I am not so idealistic as to think that we must all take an oath of poverty, but I often wonder if we are neglecting the biblical command to be the hands and feet of Jesus in our everyday lives. Every child matters deeply to our God, but too often, not to us. Sometimes the need is so overwhelming and so big, that somehow we think that exempts us from doing anything. There are countless children dying every single minute of every day and countless children languishing in foster care and countless children being destroyed by abuse, while we sit in our comfortable church pews and sing songs that make us feel good. Don’t get me wrong, church is extremely important, but its not where our Christian walk stops, we MUST go from there and be a force for the kingdom! We MUST go from there and get ready for battle and fight for the cause of Christ, to seek and save the lost! We are blinded and lulled to sleep by the American Dream and the comfortable reality of our lives. We need to wake up and get back in the race. To throw off everything that distracts us or hinders us and fix our eyes on Jesus, keeping in mind the opposition that He faced, so we will not grow weary and lose heart! (Hebrews 12:1) Nobody can do everything, but everyone can and should do something. I heard Mac Powell, the lead singer from Third Day, say “You are right, adoption and foster care is not for everyone, but its for a whole lot more of y’all than are doing it”. We have an unbelievable amount of resources that could be used to save the lives of little children in our own city, state, country and world. We can all sacrifice just a little bit more to help someone in need. We can live sacrificially, so that we can give generously. Maybe its giving up that mani/pedi to give more to an organization that helps starving children, or getting one less hour of sleep to dedicate to praying for the Lord to break your heart for children in the foster care system, you can even give up a Saturday to volunteer at a group home or old folks home to spend time with the lonely. Let us not get so caught up in the events of our own lives that we cannot be interrupted by the Lord’s calling. We have to remember why we are here and take time to notice the needs of others around us. We need to be intentional about being others focused and not self focused. Let us not underestimate the hope that we have and the ability that we have to bring it to the world.