Monday, October 30
Day 8: Protecting the Vulnerable
“Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
– Psalm 82:3-4
I remember being a child in Sunday School singing the song, “Jesus Loves Little Children”. The lyrics go, “Jesus loves the little children, ALL the children of the world, red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the children of the world”. When I was a child, it was sometimes hard for me to believe that Jesus loved me. I remember thinking that his love meant physical protection, a feeling of safety. That included protection from struggle and brokenness. Maybe my doubts about God’s love were due to the fact that there was a healthy dose of struggle and brokenness in my family. I have memories of being in elementary school and looking around at other kids and noticing things my parents didn’t do or get right.
Then, I became a parent and one of my top priorities was making sure my children didn’t have to struggle. They were going to live in a bubble of safety. Safe from accumulating hurts. Because I would do things the “right” way. God always knows best and quickly introduced a struggle into one of my kids’ lives that was outside of my control. I had no choice but to watch my sweet baby struggle. Eventually, after many tears and time spent in prayer, I learned how to surrender my kids’ stories to a God who loves them and is a much better parent than I could ever hope to be.
Trusting in God and His plan gave me space mentally and emotionally to pay attention to the world outside of my family. As I looked around, I remembered God’s prompting in my heart to see the vulnerable children in the world. I noticed them. I cared about them. I wondered what I could do, what action steps could I take. How could I help?
I have many of those same questions rattling around in my mind as I think about what is happening in Israel and Gaza now. It is so easy for me to see what I cannot do. I cannot stop the war. I cannot protect all the children. I will never be a political peacemaker or a superhero. I am one person who lives very far away.
Many years ago when I was asking these same questions, I was listening to an Andy Stanley sermon and I heard him say, “Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.” That felt like a lot less pressure. I realized I didn’t have to do something big and flashy to make a difference. I could choose to show up for one person.
I think that advice also applies to today. I can choose to set aside time to pray daily for children and families in Israel and Gaza. I can choose to enter a period of fasting. I can choose to see other vulnerable children in other countries. I can sponsor a child in another country. I can offer support to a family who is fostering in my city. I can focus on God’s goodness and faithfulness. I can ask Him to show me the one person I can help right now. Because I know that I serve a God who is faithful and just. A good God with a good plan. A God who loves deeply and cares for the vulnerable children of the world and invites me to be His hands and feet to others. What a privilege that is!
Sometimes this world is dark and scary. Sometimes the circumstances of this life feel hopeless, and we feel helpless. Sometimes I know intellectually who You are, but I feel disconnected from You. Sometimes, I feel overwhelmed or apathetic. My eyes see only darkness.
You are the light of the world. You are a good God, with a good plan and I can trust You. You are never surprised by the events of this world. You overcame the world.
We specifically lift up all of those in Israel and Gaza. Comfort them. Grant them a peace that surpasses all understanding. You see what each child in the midst of this conflict needs. You see all of the children who are suffering, who need protection. Please be their provision. Move in miraculous ways.
Psalm 82:3-4 says, “Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” We ask You to do this for the children being impacted by this war, Lord. We also ask You to reveal the next step for each of us here. Please bring to mind the “one” person You are inviting us to “do for one what we wish we could do for everyone”. We lay all of this at Your feet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
By Brandy Baumann
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