As we sat down for devotional this morning, we realized that we might need a new conference table to fit all 14 of us comfortably. The Lord has blessed us with two new case managers and several more families and placements over the summer. We rejoice in the work the Lord has called us to do, and we ask Him to continue to expand His kingdom in San Antonio through the children we serve.
But there are days when we don’t rejoice, but instead feel angry and helpless in the midst of a huge system that doesn’t always seem to have the kids’ best interests at heart. We have training in social work and we devote our time to serving, protecting, and loving children who have suffered abuse and neglect; yet, even with all our specialization and training we can’t always ensure a happy ending to each case. We have moments of yelling in our cars, trying to understand how the Lord could let a child go back to bad situation or allow a judge to give orders without knowing all the facts.
As we read the verses for our devotional today, we realized that the Lord does not expect us to come to Him in perfect situations or to have all the answers and solutions. He asks us to come to Him in the midst of hard places so that He can be there in center of the mess with us, helping and guiding us.
“‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.’” Matthew 13:44
Jesus tells His followers of a man who finds treasure in the middle of a field and sells all his possessions so that he can buy the whole field, not just the treasure. Jesus knew that His followers weren’t perfect and that they would come with baggage from hard places. In this parable, Jesus is the treasure in the midst of the field that could be covered with weeds and mud—He’s not afraid to be with us in the middle of the dirty field.
Our field is full of the unknown of certain cases, the often-tricky red tape of state rules and regulations, the frustration of adults acting without the best interests of children at heart, and the horrible situations that kids in care are rescued from daily. Sometimes it just feels impossible to see the treasure of God in the middle of the system.
God has called us to follow the standards of the law, even when they seem difficult or foolish, and trust in Him to fix what appears to us as unfixable. We asked the Lord to give us the strength to buy the whole field to find Jesus in the middle of it. He can give us what we need to live in a broken, scarred world and still rejoice that He is Lord and has a plan for each and every child we serve.
This morning, several case managers shared stories of situations where God delivered children to love and safety out of places of neglect. They shared how God changed these situations at a time when everything seemed hopeless and people were losing faith. The Lord’s intervention in these cases was such an encouragement and a sweet reminder that when we follow Him and buy the whole field, He moves in powerful ways!