This week has been one that I will not soon forget. It began here in Arizona with the women of my church whom I love, getting them excited and registered for this upcoming season of Bible studies that begins next week—something that will never get old to me. My week then brought me out to California to teach another group of women whom I have grown to love over the past few years. I have spent a large part of my summer with them, teaching them through the book of Ephesians, verse by verse. My week then took me to the shores of the San Diego beaches with two dear friends, both whom I’ve known most of my life. The long trek back from the beach to the desert led me to my week’s next highlight as I got to reconnect with a dear friend from my college days. She was out here leading worship with the Vertical Church Band, so not only was I blessed to worship under her leadership, but our conversations throughout the day were truly life-giving.
And all of that leads me to my experience I had last night. A week filled with plans, busyness, and joy all served in one way or another to prepare me for what I had the privilege to do last night. My church here in Arizona has a huge heart for foster care, so much so that they have created a space for foster parents to meet, to be encouraged, to build community with one another, and to receive the training and tools they need to keep walking this often difficult road. I was asked to speak to this group last night, and while I was so excited going into it, deeply desiring to be able to bless and encourage them, I had no idea how blessed I was about to be from them in return.
The moment I stepped into the room, a humility washed over me like I’ve never experienced before. It was as if God were speaking directly to my heart about these people who have so bravely stepped out in faith to love the least of these. They have signed up for risk and have embraced sacrifice to the degree that I have not yet tasted, and I was honored but so humbled to share with them last night—a room filled with people who would never consider themselves heroes, but I most certainly would.
After I shared with them a word of encouragement to keep going and to not grow weary in doing good (Galatians 6:9), I had the opportunity to sit with several of them around a table and just hear their stories. They probably thought I was crazy because nearly the entire time, I bet my mouth was hanging open in shock and disbelief at some of the things they’ve faced and experienced on their own journeys with foster care. At one point, one of them grabbed my Bible and shared these verses with the small group at our table:
“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families,” Psalm 68:5-6a
It was at that moment that my heart swelled with faith. You see, not unlike the foster care system, much of our own lives can seem hopeless and a constant uphill battle at times. We struggle, we strive, we strain, and many times, we still seem to come up empty and lacking. As this faith-filled woman read the words from Psalm 68, I was reminded of God’s provision. In this life, we will know lack. We will know hurt. We will know loss, sorrow, ache, and pain. But, in this life if we are in Christ, we WILL also know His provision in the desert-like places of our lives. We WILL know His protection.
Because He is a good, good Father. It’s just who He is. And we are loved by Him. It’s just who we are. And despite how our circumstances try to inform us, they will never change the character of God. He remains the same. He remains the Father to the fatherless, the defender of the weak, our provider, and our protector.
Friends, there is rest to be found in this truth. There is soul rest to be found in this promise. There is rest to be found in His provision. He is a good Father. This is our God.