Loving like Jesus

Loving Like Jesus

I am learning so much about myself! I’ve only been on this foster care journey for a little over 50 days. Our first placement has been chopped full of uncharted territory! I’ve felt feelings I’ve never experienced before, I’ve dealt with so many unfamiliar and uncomfortable situations. I have seen my views of the world and my views of my home flipped upside down. My biggest struggle however has been learning how to love like Jesus.

It is easy to love an innocent baby. It is not so easy loving the parents who exposed these children to such hardship and pain. I walked into foster care feeling confident that God would use me to help not only these children, but their families as well! But, the reality has been that some people do not want to get better. Not only do they not want to change, they will hurt anyone who gets in their way.

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I find myself wrestling with my flesh. I know I should be praying for the parents who despite their many issues are still made in the image of God. I know the Bible says to “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44) But there are days when I do not want the bio parents around. There are days when I think “I” know best. The truth is I don’t, but God does.

I love these babies like they are my own. I want to be mama bear and protect them from the people who hurt and use them. I want my way! But, my way isn’t the way of the Gospel. My way does not show grace or love. My way screams out judgments on all offenses and places these parents in my heart as tried and sentenced.

If you continue to read in Matthew 5:45 it goes on to say, “{love, bless, do good, and pray} that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you?”

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If God can extend His love even to His enemies then so should I. As a matter of fact, before I came to know Jesus as my own Lord and Savior, I was an enemy. However, because of what Christ did for me, I no longer walk in the dark and in opposition of God the Father. It is because He loves the unlovable that today I am changed. His love changes things.

The amazing thing about being loved and loving such an amazing God is that we are able to be an extension of God’s love to others. God rewards us if we are obedient in walking in love, blessing and praying for those who for the moment are our enemies.

I have to be willing to pray for and love these families that touch my life even if my flesh isn’t “feeling” it. I’m beginning to find that even if my efforts to love these people are returned with strife, the reward of having a heart softened by the hands of God is priceless!

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