Grace will outreach darkness of a ‘Genesis 3’ world

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By Brian Owens

Let me blunt: I do not enjoy training meetings. As foster parents, my wife and I are required to have a certain number of hours of training every year in order to keep our license and our house open to minister to children in crisis situations.

It’s not fun, the training that is, but it is worth it.

Over the course of two days last week, we attended the annual medically fragile foster-care training. The children we are qualified to minister to come from backgrounds that often require this specialized training to meet their unique medical needs. These trainings are long and tedious, but the children we are training to serve have conditions that are more wearisome and last far beyond a mere two-day training session. There really is no room for complaining on our part.

As I sat through the various sessions, the reality of what we were being faced with began to settle in my spirit. Within every unsettling story and behind every upsetting statistic was the fact that the world we live in is broken. We read in Genesis 3 of when our first parents opted to heed the lie of our Adversary and how what God called “good” ceased to be. Thorns, thistles, relational strife, and physical affliction became standard fare.

It is in this world of Genesis 3 that you hear terms such as “neonatal abstinence syndrome” and “fetal alcohol syndrome.” It is in this Genesis 3 world where babies are born with defects, whether brought on by drug and alcohol exposure or by genetic abnormality. It is in this Genesis 3 world where children can no longer live with their parents because the parents are not able, for whatever reason, to care for them. As I sat through those meetings, and as I heard from other foster/adoptive parents about their own struggles in caring for these children, my spirit began to groan, “Come quickly Lord Jesus.” (Revelation 22:20)

Looking at this from a Christian worldview, this all is a result of sin. When sin entered the world, it brought destruction, disability, defect and death. Sin severed mankind from his creator and replaced relationship with enmity. Only repentant faith in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ can right this wrong.

Only Jesus can reverse the effects of sin. The Scriptures speak of a day when all of the mess in this world will be eliminated. God “will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)

My wife and I love what we do, but we also know that it is because we live in a Genesis 3 world that medically fragile foster-care and special-needs adoptions are necessary. We long to live in a Revelation 21 world — a world where God dwells with man and man with God — a world void of defect, deformity, disease and death.

One day, this will be reality; but, until then, the reality is that there are children who need someone to stand up and sacrifice for them and seek to touch their lives in Jesus’ name.

As far-reaching as the effects of sin can be, grace reaches all the farther. (Romans 5:20)

The grace of God can extend into the lives of children who, through no fault of their own, bear the physical, mental and emotional scars of living in a Genesis 3 world. None of us is beyond the grip of grace, no matter how tight the grip of sin might be.