"Feeling overwhelmed and hopeless and wanting to somehow be
optimistic that I could actually make a difference somewhere.
I, too, have been asking God to show me where I can serve Him. I have felt
that it would be somewhere in the area of orphans. I still don't know what
that all looks like. But I do know that God continues to show me things and
change my heart to be broken for things I never thought I would be broken
over. I just couldn't sleep last night."
I have struggled in recent months with these same feelings. I still have so many questions about why there is so much suffering here...
why I am given so much when others have so little...
and what influence could one insignificant life like mine actually have in the face of such a tremendous crisis?
When I first read my friend's response, I will be honest that I felt bad. "Oh no, she's really struggling! Perhaps I shouldn't have shared so many difficult images. I feel terrible she's losing sleep over this!"
But then I remembered that this is about obeying Jesus who guided me with these words-
"...so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
And I remember that I can trust Him with my friend.
And why am I so scared of brokenness anyway? For isn't it those who mourn who will be comforted by the very hand of God? And those who hunger and thirst for righteousness who will be filled by the Bread of Life himself? So, friend, do not mourn or hunger without hope!
Three months ago, I sat on the bathroom floor in Shanghai at 4 a.m. (thank you, jet lag) reading my Bible, expecting God to speak to me about our time in China and our sweet new daughter sleeping in the other room. Instead, He would not let me go as He revealed to me His heart for these orphans in Eastern Europe. I truly feel like these verses He led me to that day were His word, at least for me, about what He is doing to response to the prayers of His people and the cries of these precious children. I hope that these verses will help us remember that this is the God we serve, and restore our hope that He is working "behind the scenes" in ways that are beyond our understanding.
"My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations... The ransomed of the LORD will return...gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away... The cowering prisoners will soon be set free; they will not die in their dungeon, nor will they lack bread. For I am the LORD your God, who churns up the sea so that its waves roar- the LORD Almighty is his name."
"God, I trust you with my heart and with my friend's. And I trust you with these children whom I think of day and night. I do not pretend to understand your ways, but I do know that you have always been faithful to me. I will pray for miracles. I will stand on your promises. I will not run away from difficult things nor will I let myself become consumed by despair. Thank you that you have brought me such great joy as I have so timidly entered into painful places. May this... all of this... always be about you. I love you... Amen."