Day 8

Making Room for Widows and Orphans

Isaiah 1:17, Psalm 68:4-6, John 14:15-18, 1 Timothy 5:3-16, James 1:27

BY Rebecca Faires

Text: Isaiah 1:17, Psalm 68:4-6, John 14:15-18, 1 Timothy 5:3-16, James 1:27

The first day I met Gus, he screamed at me. I had lived a quiet life up until that point, and I had never heard screaming like this before. I myself have screamed at swim meets, at being tickled, while riding on roller coasters—but never like this.

Gus’s screams terrified me. His eyes were far away and unreasoning. It was like all the unknown in him rushed out of his mouth and straight at me. I wanted to run away from him and back to my quiet life.

But I couldn’t run because Gus was going to be my son, and the paperwork was already at the Embassy in Ethiopia. What was I going to do, chicken out because he’s loud?

If we were together and you cared to hear, I would tell you about our adoption of two baby boys from Africa, and how they scared the curse words out of me. (They still scare the horse apples out of me sometimes.) And I would tell you that God has been so gracious and redemptive in our lives. But that’s a long story. So let’s just talk about loving people we are afraid to love, people who maybe scare us because they come from such a different place.

It scares me to love people who are unlike me, but it turns out, gospel love isn’t about me anyway. It is about Jesus and how He loves.

Hospitality is uncomfortable. There are people who make me want to run. I think, to a certain degree, we all like a quiet, settled life. I mean, it’s easier to remain comfy and contented with the people we’re used to than to engage with those we don’t know anything about. It can feel awkward, even risky, reaching out to those who are different, whose lives seem so dissimilar to our own.

This is the heart of hospitality: finding people on the margins and bringing them in. Remember in Psalm 68, David praises the Lord because He “sets the solitary in families” (v. 6). This extends well beyond adoption or caring for widows. God has given us so many ways to reach out to the solitary, those who’ve been deserted.

The first step to hospitality is obedience: bring people in. This obedience helps us form soup kitchens, deliver casseroles, care for widows and orphans, and invite people into our homes. But this is only the first step. Because once we have invited people in, we are called to love them as Christ has loved us.

In the Book of Zephaniah we see this exquisite mystery:

“He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
 but will rejoice over you with singing.”
– Zephaniah 3:17

Our heavenly Father rejoices over us with singing! We are called to imitate Christ, so we can’t just stop at going through the motions and serving folks soup once a year, or whenever it feels convenient. We are called to rejoice over others with singing; to love them.

Making this jump on our own is impossible. The only way to change our hearts is to submit them to Christ. Pray with me today that God would teach us hospitality toward widows and orphans and all those on the margins—and not only hospitality, but love.


Post Comments (96)

96 thoughts on "Making Room for Widows and Orphans"

  1. Meagan Castor says:

    I just spoke with a friend who had recently adopted about how my husband and I have said we want to adopt a baby but it’s easy to say when you havent made any efforts to move forward in that. I had to laugh this morning after seeing the title of today’s study. I had just prayed that I want to pray for big things, things only God can do in our lives, start praying for this desire and how it can be carried out. I have no idea how or when this will happen but I’m grateful to be reading Gods words on the matter and see what I can only believe is his leading on this scary venture!

  2. Gabriel says:

    Calvary greetings Sir /Ma. What do i need to start this ministry ….hospitality, widows and orphanage. I’m strongly believe that this is where God are calling me to and have been praying that God should help me to establish it .

    1. Lynn says:

      Pray and practice serving in your local community. Till the door opens to your calling.

  3. Heather says:

    This is challenging. I love helping people but when it comes to my own widowed Gran I really struggle. I leave feeling depressed. Like nothing I do helps and avoid visiting at all costs.

  4. Lauren says:

    So needed this message and reminder today. It is not enough to just smile or say a polite hello. We have to work to find love and make others feel welcome. So much easier said than done but definitely working on it.

  5. Kensley Goodman says:

    My husband and I have been struggling to have a child of our own, I have always thought in the back of my mind that I could adopt and love a child as my own. It hasn’t been made clear to me through Jesus if the adoption road is the path we are on. I am asking for prayers for my husband and I that we may have clarity to where the Lord is leading us.

    1. She Reads Truth says:

      Kensley, absolutely praying for you and your husband in this. Asking that the Lord would make this clear to you and soften your heart towards adoption, if that is where He is leading you. Thank you for letting us know how to pray for you.

      – Stormye

    2. Kathy says:

      Dear Kensley
      Thirty-eight years ago we adopted Sarah, she was 9 mo old and in foster care. God made room in our hearts for her. What I’ve learned is that God has ways of making families….birth and adoption. I was so desperate to be a Mom, I claimed promises from His word (like Psa 113:9) and submitted my heart, soul, body and mind to allow Him to do as He pleased. Sarah’s story of coming into our family brings glory to God each time we tell it, even now, all these years later. Sarah IS OUR DAUGHTER, adoption is God’s idea and yes He makes room in hearts for this to happen. Praying today for the Lord to show you next steps to becoming parents! Love and Hugs, Kathy

  6. Sarah says:

    Wow. My husband approached me last week about the idea of being foster parents. I laughed. I gave the million (pretty valid) excuses why it was impossible. We both work, we have 2 kids of our own with places to go all the time, my lack of patience, my house is small and ALWAYS a disaster…. the list goes on. This morning my best friend (who fosters) was telling me that my excuses were just that. Excuses. She told me that we were called to love. I told her I didn’t think I had it in me and someone else more qualified could do a better job.
    Then I read this. With tears in my eyes. If not me, who? Maybe someone needs the little I can offer. This is a big decision I know. I’m not ready yet. But I never am. I never comment on these boards. I read and I pray for yall. But I keep to myself. Today I know I need prayer. I need to know where God needs me. And my excuses to move aside.
    Thank you so much.

    1. Macie says:

      That’s so beautiful! God bless you on the journey!

    2. Kelley says:

      Oh Sarah, I totally hear your heart and am in the same boat~ praying for you sister!!

    3. Christine says:

      Sister this is the place all great things begin. In humble prayer, thought and soul searching. I am excited for you. And from a lady who just added one to her brood, somehow you find time, and room for baby amongst the mess!

    4. Michele says:

      I am praying for you,Sarah. God bless you as you make this decision.

    5. Holly says:

      As a foster parent myself, I know there’s never a “good time” to be a foster parent. It’s a 24-7 job that can be so tiring! So, so, so tiring! The rewards are immeasurable! I get to parent these wonderful little ones whose birth family is unable to care for. It’s such a joy!

      1. Katie says:

        Thank you all for posting your thoughts about becoming a foster parent. I am praying for you all!

    6. Jodi says:

      Reading your excuses…it sounds like the most wonderful place for a child without a family or a home. The busy chaos of a “normal” day, the siblings and parents on a quiet day at home doing nothing much but keeping busy, just spending time together. Don’t sell yourself short, it sounds like the perfect family atmosphere to add a little uncharted adventure to!

  7. natural sunburn relief says:

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  8. Jefferey Townes says:

    I am incessantly thought about this, thanks for posting.TubeSync

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