Father to the Fatherless
“LORD, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them. You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so mere people can no longer terrify them.” Psalm 10:17-18 (NLT)
Those of us who grew up without a father — or had an unavailable father — know how it feels to be “different.” We struggle to fight the feelings of unworthiness, and we carry the weight of the pain of rejection. I grew up as an only child in a single parent home. When I was two years old my father left us and remarried. I would see him on holidays and birthdays — he would visit and bring gifts, but then he was gone. As I grew up hearing him sing the praises of his sons and their achievements, I felt I was not good enough or worthy of his time. I had no physical wounds or scars, but my soul was desperate and hurt.
At the age of 13, weary from the emotional pain, I heard Matthew 11:28-29 for the first time — “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (NLT). It was that invitation that drew me — I was ready to accept Christ as my Savior and God as my Father. Ever since that day, almost 20 years ago, I’ve been grateful to my Heavenly Father for gently healing my heart and soul and revealing and teaching what it really means to be in a relationship with a Father. He gently heals every scar and takes away one fear after another.
He calls Himself, “a father to the fatherless,” thus a father of orphans as well. Nothing reveals more vividly a state of brokenness, helplessness and dependence than the condition of abandoned, neglected, hurt, and abused children. Physical and emotional wounds heal with time, but the orphan spirit that says “I’m not good enough” and “I can’t be loved,” can only be changed and healed by our Heavenly Father. Nothing reflects a more affecting description of the character of God — of His mercy and kindness — than to say that He will take the place of the absent parent and reveal what a parent and child relationship should be like.
God says He hears the cries of the orphans and He has promised to comfort them.Dace Rence, our Latvia Program Director, shares this touching story. To meet her and work with vulnerable children in Latvia, join us on a mission trip. Learn more here.