David, the man after God’s own heart once wrote a song that included, “Father to the fatherless, defender of widows— this is God, whose dwelling is holy.”
What peace these words offer!
What fear these words should invoke!
What are you talking about?
The peace delivered by these words is that when the husband of the widow dies, taking all livelihood and financial support with him, God will be that widow’s provider. When her emotional rock is gone, God will be that Rock that sustains her. When her protector has passed, God Himself will protect her.
King of the Universe.
The Righteous One.
He doesn’t say the pain of loss will be gone, but the fear of impending doom is, and therein lies peace. Real peace. And not only peace but strength. The strength to take another breath, to get out of bed, to open the door, to answer the phone, to handle business, to L I V E.
The same for the child left behind. God will be the Provider, making sure that little one’s needs are met, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. He will be the Protector, defending these defenseless ones against all attackers. God Himself will become the father to the orphan, filling every role the man who has died was.
(Yes, I am aware of so many situations in this day and time that seem to make these words untrue. I am choosing not to follow that rabbit trail today. Let’s focus on God’s Word and accept it as truth.)
These words should invoke great fear in every sleazy, deceitful soul who seeks to swindle, manipulate, and/or harm any widow or orphan. The judge might jail them, but God can (and just might) condemn them forever. Talk about gaining the world and losing your soul!
Thing is, many of us fall into that category where we should fear and we don’t realize it.
Now, Faye Bryant! I have never tried to swindle a widow or hurt an orphan! Never!
Okay. I hear you.
Have you ever passed up an opportunity to help?
Not long ago I became friends with a lovely woman in Uganda who has heeded the call to care for the orphans in her area. She and her husband, through faith, provide a place to live, food to eat, medical care, and the money for schooling so the children can grow into healthy and productive lives. They teach these children whose worlds have been turned upside down by death or desertion that God is their Father and He loves them so. They do this through generous donations of many people around the world.
I sat back and watched for several months the care she provides, the love she showers on these children, and the way she teaches them about Jesus. I asked God if this was real. He said yes.
When I saw the words, “we are out of food” I was able to pounce on the chance to help. I don’t have a lot of money, but I had enough to help provide some food for those little ones. I promise you, my donation wasn’t a huge one.
I could have turned away, but their Father urged me to give out of my abundance to help them in their need.
Where would I be had I not heeded that call? I believe I would have been no better than the swindlers and manipulators.
I don’t tell you that story to toot my own horn, but to urge you to open your eyes to the opportunities God places around you.
I could have said, “But God, You know our church fully supports an orphanage in Haiti and helps support an orphanage in Southern India. I give to those every month!” But that would have been slapping His hand away from myself. He held the gift of being a blessing up to me and man, I wanted it!
And widows? It’s hard to be there for someone who has lost their everything, but sometimes all we need to do is send a card, take them to lunch, let them cry, and keep an eye on them.
We have a friend who was widowed recently. We encouraged her – actually, we got her to promise not to make any big decisions for at least a year. No selling the house or other life-changing decisions. She agreed.
Within mere weeks, people came out of the woodwork wanting to buy this or that from her, most wanting those things at ridiculously reduced prices. God has used the promise she made to my husband and me to protect her from those nefarious sorts.
We who are called by God’s name are to be His heart and hands and feet on this planet wherever we are, in whatever we do. God is fathering the orphans and defending the widows and we must be about joining Him in that.
How will we join Him today?
Coffee, Bible, Journal.