Yesterday, I was watching Kung Fu Panda 2 with our little one and a soothsayer said to Po, “Your story may not have such a happy beginning, but that doesn’t make you who you are. It is the rest of your story, who you choose to be. So, who are you, Panda?” I looked at her and said, “Did you hear that? All of us need to think about that. Your story, my story may not have been the best beginning but that does not define who we are. You are a child of God, His daughter, His princess. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.”
Thinking about my past and the past of the children at Casa, may not have a happy beginning, but that doesn’t define who we are. Who am I?
We are children of God. John 1:12-13, “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” God placed each of us here for a purpose. His purpose. To believe in Him. To know Him.
We are loved. 1 John 3:1, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” We are His children and He loves us. He takes care of us, teaches us, provides for us and disciplines us. As His children we need to be obedient and choose Him. Like Joshua, we need to renew “our covenant” with God and serve Him. We are obedient because we are loved.
We are forgiven. Our Lord’s greatest act of love was when He was dying on the cross and He forgave. Luke 23:34, “Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing…'” We sin because we are sinners, we are forgiven because we are loved. We do things without thinking about consequences yet Jesus knew the consequences of His sacrifice. Forgiveness.
We are chosen. We weren’t chosen because of our past or our testimony but because we are His. 1 Peter 2:9-10, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
We have a purpose. We cannot walk around like we have no purpose when we are chosen, are forgiven, are loved, are His. Jeremiah 29:11, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”
Our hope and future does not come from man. Jesus said, “I do not accept praise from men, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe if you accept the praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God.” We cannot live for the world or the wishes of men but live for the Lord only. We know our beginning, what is the rest of our story?
Two of our boys had a court hearing today. I walked over to the school and sat there on the curb waiting for them. The youngest came and sat next to me, smiling. I asked him how he was doing and he said, “Fine. I just want to be with you.” I can only smile and thank the Lord for allowing us to be a part of our boys’ lives. The older one came and we went back to the dorm and they changed out of their uniform. I gave them each a wristband, hugged and prayed with them. Protection and His will be done. He is worthy. In the afternoon we were informed that the boys went home.
When children go home, sometimes our first reaction is to ask, “Why?” If you read Mike’s journal than you know that the government desires for all the children to return home and to close all the homes in Guatemala. Nothing wrong with that if the children are returning to a safe and healthy environment. When I caught myself asking “Why?” the first thing that popped into my head was “The Blindside”. Michael Oher wrote a paper on the poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson, “The Charge of the Light Brigade.” He wrote, “‘Forward, the Light Brigade!’ Was there a man dismay’d? Not tho’ the soldier knew Someone had blunder’d; Theirs not to make reply, Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die, Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred.”
Did someone make a mistake? We can question why this decision was made, yet, “Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do & die” Our responsibility is to do His will. To teach the children all about the Lord…Who He is, what He has done and what He will do. Our Lord gives us a promise. Psalm 23, “… Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and staff, they comfort me…” He is with us. We need to trust in the Lord and have no fear.
Lee and Candy