Do you feel that God is calling you to live a life of love for the world? Maybe that calling has become more difficult than you expected.
Blogger Katie Bodell describes her journey from desperation to action and how she found a source of hope.
How is God calling you to love others today?
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Over ten years ago, my husband and I felt called to partner with World Vision as child sponsors. We had two young girls of our own at that time, and as trying and challenging as parenting young children could be, we recognized that we truly struggled for little.
We had enough money for diapers, water was available to us with the turn of a knob, food was not in short supply, and we had plenty of familial, cultural, and governmental resources to depend on. We knew we were blessed and wanted to give back in real and tangible ways.
We have adored being child sponsors over these ten years; our kids each sponsor a child their age (with their exact birthday!). It has been an absolute blessing. We’ve even seen one of our dear World Vision children graduate out of need!
Throughout the years, I have felt compelled to live a life full of love for the world, not just love for my own safety, provisions, security, or happiness.
Yet that so often is the cycle I fall back into. More time on Facebook, new makeup regimes, new clothes, delicious lattes — it is hard not to get caught up in the cycle of self, especially in this culture where we have so much.
But something changed for me last fall. The 2016 presidential election left me disillusioned with our government. The political system, the obsessive media coverage, the hatred on all sides, the dehumanizing, the lying: It was all a heinous cacophony of words that led me to despair.
The Internet had become a source of daily pain and frustration. I felt alienated from many, including many in my church body. I felt like everyone around me was concerned with self-interests. I was angry with Christians for their complacency and their desire for personal security over God’s call to love.
Out of desperation one evening, I scoured the Internet for a source of hope — were there Christians who were fighting for the things God cared about over personal gain?
Were there voices willing to hold accountable politicians and lobbyists intent on lacing their pockets with millions?
Were there believers who boldly believed in God’s sovereignty while still fighting for the rights of the poor and oppressed?
Or were we all content to turn a blind eye to the needs of the poor, hold tight to an image of relative safety, and choose fear over compassion?
Somehow, I was led back to World Vision’s website and found the “Get Involved” tab. From there, I found the advocacy team that I had honestly never seen or heard about.
I realized that I have influence. That God has given me a voice and an instrument — writing — and that he could possibly be calling me to use it now more than ever.
So I signed up.
Honestly, I wasn’t even sure what I was signing up for, but felt encouraged and inspired that God’s people were still in the business of loving the least of these.
And that is my main passion: living a life that loves the least of these — no matter where or who they are — and teaching my three girls to do the same. Love God. Love others. It’s the slogan on my little hybrid car, and I hope and pray that God will continue to give me opportunities to do so.
I am far from perfect (just ask my husband or my kids!), and I get discouraged — okay, cynical — more times than I would like to admit. But in all of this, I am thankful for a God who loves everyone. Forgives everyone.
And invites everyone into his kingdom.
Answer God’s call to love others today by joining advocates like Katie. Use our easy tool to email your members of Congress about life-saving U.S. foreign assistance programs that provide hope for families around the world.
How is God calling you to love others? Comment below!