I shared with you a couple of weeks ago that Jamie and I felt the Spirit nudging us to say yes to more foster children. We don’t know yet who these children might be or when they would come. But we felt the Spirit moving in our hearts and prompting us to say yes when our social worker asked us about it. I also shared with you that I’ve been having some anxiety about this. Our house has been quite peaceful lately. We love the kids we already have. Everyone in the house has been getting along. And we have routines that seem to work for everyone. I worry about how that might change if new kids we don’t know yet are added to the mix. And I worry about having enough time and energy to meet everyone’s needs and love everyone well.
This week, as I was continuing to meditate on the beatitudes, I read,
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
Matt 5:9 (NIV)
I felt God speaking to me that the answer to my worries was to remember my identity as a child of God. As God’s child, I have only to trust that God is the one who will provide everything I need and empower me for everything he gives me to do. Not only that, but it is in this place of living as God’s child that I will find joy.
John Wimber, who is often credited with starting the Vineyard movement, says in the book Power Healing, “I used to tell people that ‘I was just a sinner saved by grace.’ But I no longer say that. True, I once was a sinner who repented and believed and as a result was saved by grace. But now I am a child of God.” (Wimber and Springer, 73) I love how Wimber shifts his focus here from whom he once was in himself to whom he is becoming in Christ - from shame to honor, from rejection to belovedness, from helplessness to authority and empowerment.
In a broken world full of conflict, God is calling people to become his children. Yes, he is pardoning our sins. But that is only the beginning. He is also giving us a whole new identity. Those who are in Jesus have been adopted into God’s family. We are little brothers and little sisters of Jesus himself. This means that God loves us with the tenderness and the fierceness of a parent, cares for us, defends us, and lavishes good gifts on us. And it means that God makes us partners in his work of restoration. As God is making peace with humanity, making peace between one person and another, and healing our physical and spiritual sickness, he has privileged his kids with the authority to act as his representatives - his peacemakers. And Jesus tells us here in the beatitudes that, when we do this, when we work to resolve conflict, to restore broken lives, to build relationships instead of tear them down, we will experience the joy (remember that blessed means happy), that comes from being called God’s children.
We’ve talked about this a lot lately, but once again I am reminded that engaging the mission God has for us in Jesus is not a heavy burden but a great delight. My family is called to make peace in the lives of kids whose families and communities have been torn apart. And through this small role in peacemaking, God is bringing the joy of being his kids into our lives. Where are the places the Spirit is prompting you to peacemaking? What is a situation God has placed you in where your presence as a child of peace can bring a blessing?
Here is a prayer for us this week,
Spirit, bring your peace into our hearts, and enable us to trust in the God who has adopted us as his children. Let us be those who bring wholeness and reconciliation everywhere that you send us. Fill us with your joy.
Love in Christ,