KATIE DAVIS Guest Post: When God Tells One Is Enough

I was angry because I believed, and still believe, that the God who created the universe did not create too many children in His image and not enough love to go around. And I wanted to do more. I wanted to help them all.

God whispered that one is enough. He assured me that He would hold the others while they wait for someone to come along and give them their milk and their medicine. He doesn’t ask me to take them all but to stop for just one, because, as I do it for one of “the least of these” I do it for Him (see Matthew 25:40). I felt deep in my spirit that He was teaching me to care for the one person in front of me. Stop for the little boy with white hair and scabs covering his body; stop for the baby girl with feces covering her dress, so weak that she can’t hold up her head. Stop and love the ones right in front of me and trust Him with the rest. He whispered that it would be okay and that I didn’t have to be angry, I could smile because one less baby was hungry, and that was good enough for that day.

This is a lesson He has continued to teach me. And it is sometimes hard and ugly. Because every time I stop for that one sick child, that one hungry old man, that one new baby girl, my mind races with the statistics of how many more I am not touching, not feeding, not saving. God whispers every time, though, that this one is enough. It is enough that this one is feeling His love and that love is eternal. Eternal.

Today, that anger is gone, though sometimes I still have to sit with the Father in my sadness and brokenness over all the hurt in this world. Sometimes I still have to cry to Him and ask Him why innocent children must suffer and beg Him to move people to action. Still, we as a family just love the ones with whom God has entrusted us as best we can. We let Him hold us as we hold the little ones He has given us to look after. We do what we can do, and we trust Him with the rest.

When I have a rough day, or several rough days in a row, as I did around the time Patricia joined our family, I can easily forget why I do what I do. I used to repeat to myself, “Do not forget in the darkness what you have been promised in the light.” When my days are dark and difficult, I am tempted to look around and think, Why? Why do I do this? Why would I take one more child? Why would we live with less so we can give to others more? Why did I leave family and friends to go to a land of strangers? What am I doing here?

I do not usually forget the answer to all these questions: “For Jesus. Because He called me to this and because He gave His life for me.” This means that it has been granted to me, it is my privilege, not only to believe in Him but also to suffer for Him (see Philippians 1:29). That suffering is not alone, but is with Him, and oh, what a privilege it is just to be able to be in His presence, to share that with my sweet Savior.

This is what it means when I say I do it for Jesus. He loved me first; I love Him back. And sometimes it hurts. But even then it is pure joy to even be considered worthy to share in His suffering. That is the promise: not that He is sorry that it hurts, but that He sees; that He knows; that He is here with us.

I think of various “ones” with which I have been blessed.

I think of Michael, who is back at home with his stepmom, healthy now, but maybe still mistreated. God knows that, in Uganda, as a single woman I cannot legally adopt a little boy, so how my heart could be so knit to his?

I think of a girl named Gloria, whose brain was so damaged from her high fever she may always be in a vegetable-like state. God in His infinite wisdom knew that had I been there a few days sooner, this potentially lifelong damage could have been prevented.

But then I think of fourteen little girls who have a home and food and a mommy, and who know Jesus. I think of sixteen hundred Karimojong children, modern-day lepers in Uganda, singing about God’s love for them and leaving the school with their bellies full. I think of four hundred sponsored children who sometimes show up on Saturday in new clothes because their parents can finally afford to buy them a new dress or shirt, now that Amazima provides for all their basic needs (food, education, medical care).

I see thousands of deep brown eyes and feel thousands of little brown hands and I know that even on the hardest day, stopping is worth it. A life changed is worth it, even if only one. God’s love made known is worth it, even if only to one. I will not save them all. But I will keep trying. I will say “Yes.” I will stop for one.

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