When you serve children in foster care in any capacity—foster parent, case worker, CASA, case manager—you pour out continuously. You expend all your energy, emotions, and time fighting for justice and healing for the children in your care.
This 24/7 job means that you operate in a deficit; sometimes you don’t have the energy to make it through the day, and you have to constantly ask the Lord for an outpouring of strength from His Holy Spirit.
During devotional today, we looked at Acts 9:10-18, which is the passage that talks about the Lord revealing Himself to a man named Ananias with instructions to go pray for the blindness to be lifted from a man named Saul. This Saul is none other than Paul, who persecuted believers until the Lord came to him and redirected his life in major way.
“’But Lord,’ exclaimed Ananias, ‘I’ve heard many people talk about the terrible things this man has done to the believers in Jerusalem! And he is authorized by the leading priests to arrest everyone who calls upon your name.’ But the Lord said, ‘Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel. And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.’ So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Ananias knows Saul’s reputation and he asks the Lord if he really should go and pray for such a dangerous man. The Lord affirms that Ananias should go and so he does. Although Ananias is fearful of Saul and his violent reputation, Ananias prays not only for Saul’s blindness to go away, but also that Saul will be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Such an amazing prayer! Ananias followed the Lord’s instructions despite his own reservations, but then he added a prayer for Saul to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The Lord revealed to Ananias that Saul would be His representative to the Gentiles, kings, and people of Israel; Ananias knew the long, difficult work that was ahead of Saul and so he asked—trusting in the Lord—that Saul be filled with the Spirit.
As we talked through what this passage meant for us an agency, we all felt confirmation from the Lord that the greatest gift we receive AND give away as an agency is the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. We operate in weakness, but through God’s blessing of the Holy Spirit we are able to pour out and serve, even when we lack the strength. This blessing from God is then passed on to the families and children we serve who can then pass it on to the biological families.
God works it so that His Spirit is able to move in places and hearts like never before; all because we, and our families, and our kids ask and receive strength from the Lord through His Spirit. What a blessing that we have a God who more than meets our deficit—a God whose perfect plan allows His Spirit to move across this city in a powerful way to strengthen believers and reveal truth to unbelievers!