This week is Thanksgiving, and we all have much to be thankful for! It's the usual stuff like a home, food, jobs, a car, family, and the list goes on. But I don't want my "thankfulness" to arise only when I look at my life in comparison to those stuck in the brokenness of this world all around me. I've become thankful for any brokenness or suffering in my life as well because it makes my dependence on God so much more necessary. It makes my friend Jesus a constant companion to help me tread through situations that seem impossible or deplorable and find purpose and joy. I came across this wonderful article on the Christian Alliance for Foster Orphans. It talks about how we must serve these children out of our poverty rather than our abundance. What a wonderful picture! We think we are going to provide them with an abundance of material things, and what God does is use the poverty of our souls when we realize there is nothing we can do on our own to love, to give, to heal, to keep going, and meet their needs. He takes our gift of "not enough" in our hearts and He fills us up with HIM. And that is when we can truly love these kids and truly make a difference. So this Thanksgiving let's look at the poverty in our souls, thank God for it, and also thank Him for the abundance that He has to offer us.
Here is an excerpt of the article by Jason Johnson, but I hope you will read the whole thing:
When speaking of the widow’s small offering in comparison to that of the rich, Jesus says, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had….” (v.3-4)
If the fostering and adoption journey has taught me one thing it’s this – we love these kids out of our poverty, not out of our abundance. Going into it we know we have a certain amount of resources that might make their lives more comfortable, and perhaps even more enjoyable. But we quickly learn that’s not ultimately what this is all about.
Somehow, their stories, and the gravity of becoming a part of them, expose a deficiency not in our stuff, but in our souls. We realize we are not so much bringing these kids out of their “poverty” and into our “abundance,” but perhaps in many ways they are rescuing us out of our “abundance” by exposing us to our own “poverty.” That, then, becomes the place from which we love them – a deficient, broken, impoverished place within us that I’m convinced Jesus looks at and says, “Yes. That’s it right there. That’s the ‘more’ I’m looking for.”