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Weekly Devotionals

A Father to the Fatherless

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.

– Psalm 68:5 

My family and I just got back from a 5-day trip to Da’Nang, Vietnam. It was our first overseas trip in nearly 8 years, not including a week in Jeju-do a couple of years ago, so we were all very much looking forward to it. And Vietnam was everything we were hoping for, and more. The food was yummy! The people were friendly! There was lots to do! And everything was relatively inexpensive! I couldn’t ask for a better family vacation!

However, there was something that was always on my mind, while we were there, that I couldn’t shake. And because of this it was difficult for me to get a total sense of peace and rest.

I would see many of the people there, working hard to make end’s meet, and I couldn’t help but sense that behind their friendly smiles, there was a lot of ruggedness and hardships. Many of the servers at the local restaurants seemed like they couldn’t be more than 20 years-old. Even with some of the older people – some of the street vendors, and shop owners – you could sense many years of hardships when you looked at their faces.

When I was in seminary, I had a classmate from Vietnam. She told me that when sharing the gospel in her home country, it was difficult to express God as a good Father to the Vietnamese people. This is because many of the fathers are not around because they are trying to make money, or even sadder, they put their kids to work at a young age, so more than a father, they seem more like a boss. Thus, this idea of God being a loving and caring and protective father is a very foreign concept to many of the Vietnamese people.

The main purpose for this devotional today is not necessarily meant to be a plea for Vietnam or the people there. However, if you are moved to pray for that nation, and for the people there to know God, I would certainly encourage it.

Yet, I do want us to be aware that there are many people around us here in Korea that are going through many hardships in their lives, as well. Perhaps, the concept of God as their Father is a difficult one for them, too, because their fathers have not been so good to them.

If you know someone who is going through hardships in life, I want to ask you to pray for them today. Can we ask God to reveal Himself to them as their good Father? But not only that, Psalm 68:5 tells us that God is not only their “potential” good father, but that He is ALREADY IS their Father, and that He is the defender of those who cannot defend themselves. And a big way He does that is through His people, whom He has called to be His children and His family. I ask all of us to not be blind to the hurts of this world, but to open our eyes to injustice and the pain of those who are suffering around us… and let’s do something… anything!

This week, let us be a family of God, doing the work of God, by showing care, comfort, and compassion to those in suffering around us. May this blessing and anointing be upon all of this this week!