Friday, January 21, 2011

Abandoned

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Psalm 27:1-14


TO CHEW ON: "When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the Lord will take care of me." Psalm 27:10



"As a child, Pastor Bill (Wilson) experienced the pain and hopelessness of abandonment. One day, as he walked down a street with his mother, they stopped to sit for a while. She instructed him to sit there and wait for her to return. He sat and waited for three days straight. She never returned. A Christian gentleman who had seen Bill stranded and alone stopped and picked him up..." (from the About Us page of Metro Ministries).

Bill told us a little bit more about that time when he visited our church several years ago. The Christian gentleman who picked him up gave Bill water and something to eat, then paid the $17.50 it took (in 1961) to send him to camp. Five hours later, Bill was at an Assemblies of God youth camp where his life was turned around. He now heads up Metro Ministries, a Christian, non-profit organization dedicated to serving inner-city children throughout New York City and various urban centers around the world.

The love and care of one's parents is pretty well a given. We view it to be foundational to growing up as normal, healthy adults. How many stories haven't we heard of messed up adults whose problems are attributed to being neglected or abandoned as kids? Does our focus verse today mean that God can counteract such a basic lack in one's life?

I believe it does. Look at the stories of noteworthy Bible characters torn from parental care and love: Joseph, Daniel, Esther, the little Jewish maid of Naaman's wife.

Look at God's heart toward the abandoned as it comes out in other scripture passages:

Exodus 22:22-23:
“You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child. If you afflict them in any way, and they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear their cry"

Deuteronomy 10:18
"He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing."

Psalm 10:14
"But You have seen, for You observe trouble and grief,
         To repay it by Your hand.
         The helpless commits himself to You;
         You are the helper of the fatherless."

Psalm 68:5
 "A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows,
         Is God in His holy habitation."

Psalm 146:9
"The LORD watches over the strangers;
         He relieves the fatherless and widow;
         But the way of the wicked He turns upside down."

Proverbs 15:25
"The LORD will destroy the house of the proud,
      But He will establish the boundary of the widow."

Jeremiah 49:11
"Leave your fatherless children,
      I will preserve them alive; And let your widows trust in Me.”

Malachi 3:5
"And I will come near you for judgment;
      I will be a swift witness
      Against ... those who exploit wage earners and widows and orphans,
      And against those who turn away an alien—
      Because they do not fear Me,”
      Says the LORD of hosts."

If you have been abandoned, remember that God is for you. He promises to take care of you. He will fill in the physical and emotional holes that your experiences have caused. You can say with confidence:

"When my mother and father (or my spouse, or my children) forsake me,
Then the Lord will take care of me."

PRAYER: Dear God thank You that You are for the abandoned, neglected, forgotten, bereaved, and passed-over ones. Help me, as Your child, to inherit Your heart of compassion, concern and care for them. Amen.

MORE: Covenant House
Covenant House is an organization that houses and takes care of homeless and abandoned youth in cities around North America. The first Covenant House was begun by Father Bruce Ritter in Manhattan in 1972. Read the history of Covenant House - Vancouver (only one of two Covenant Houses in Canada - the other one is in Toronto)

Martin is just one of thousands of kids who have been helped by Covenant House Vancouver. Read his story.

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Note: Have you noticed, above, how the Bible verse pops up in a little box when you hover your mouse over the reference? I've installed a new widget called RefTagger which makes that happen! 

The only problem is, the widget doesn't work its magic in the email version of the post. And neither does it work if the verse is already linked to BibleGateway. 

Because more people read these devotions by email than online, I will continue to link verses. If you want to see the unlinked verses display (without looking them up) you'll need to view the post online (at http://www.otherfood-devos.com).

Bible Drive-Thru

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