gimme shelter

Sometimes life changes in subtle ways. Sometimes life is like crossing the interstate with your arms full of bags of groceries, getting hit by a Mack truck and then being left to make sure the eggs didn’t break. For my wife and I, the latter took place this last week. On Thursday we received something we had been working on for quite some time; our Foster Care license for the State of Texas and we were absolutely delighted. And with that license we also received 1-yr-old and 3-yr-old brothers who came to live with us the same day (insert Mack truck analogy here). All of a sudden we were scrambling for diapers, places to sleep, clothes, toys, formula, etc…all the while making sure the eggs didn’t break. And the first few days, well, we felt like we were getting hit by the same truck over and over and over again. But it gets better.

You see, my wife and I believe that the Biblical mandate to care for orphans is just that…a mandate. And so we acknowledge that calling in the most literal sense possible. And most recently for us, that meant stepping into the world of foster care. Did we plan on taking two little boys into our house all at once…no. But I once heard someone say that if you want to make God laugh, then tell Him your plans. And yet in the midst of all this we have started to see God do some amazing things as we have leaned into Him for strength.

As I mentioned before, the first few days were rough…more specifically the first few nights were rough. Neither of the boys wanted to sleep or probably felt safe I imagine. Their bewitching hour (as I like to call it) was between 9:00 PM and 1:00 AM, you know, just the time adult types like to go to sleep. Although we are still trying to figure out the magic formula for the little one, through a series of trial and error we finally found out that the 3-yr-old was more comfortable sleeping in a crib, with a night-light and a pacifier. And two nights ago I witnessed something incredible. You see, for the first few nights the 3-yr-old was terrified of bedtime and would usually end up crying until his body finally succumbed to sleep. But just the other night, as I went back in to check on him I heard something magical…singing. And I was reminded of the words of the Psalmist in thinking of this little one, “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” – Psalm 32:7 All of a sudden this small child who has been through more than most of us may experience in a lifetime felt safe enough to sing in the darkness.

And isn’t that what we all want; some form of security, some form of shelter, a hiding place? And even though things won’t always turn out the way that we plan or expect it we want to have some sort of hope that in the end everything will turn out okay. As followers of Christ, we have this hope. But with this hope comes the mandate that we share it with those around us who don’t have that hope. That we offer them the shelter, the hiding place that we know exists only in the forgiving grace of God. May you find a way to offer that same grace to those around you and find yourselves being witness to singing in the dark.

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