"So you, by the help of your God, return, hold fast to love and justice, and wait continually for your God." Hosea 12:16
Hold fast to love and justice.
As we walk alongside the kids we work with, we are called to love them right where they are at. To be a listening ear. Provide a hug and a safe place to cry. To be a family to them and show them that they are loved and valued and that there is hope.
But it is easy to get impatient as we see so much heartache and darkness. We want to see lives transformed and see kids leave the streets. We desperately want to see their lives transformed by the gospel.
And here is where God whispers into our hearts, "Wait continually for your God!"
God is moving. God is working.
He is bringing healing to broken hearts. He is bringing hope to dark places.
So we can wait in God's perfect timing and keep loving, knowing that God's love is seeping into the broken and cracked places of the kid's hearts.
Recently I sat talking with a teenager as he shared about his past and the loneliness he feels. "I just wish I could feel my mother's hug." He whispers as tears fell down his face. I hugged him as he wrapped his arms around me and sobs shook him. We were able to pray together and in that moment, on the side of a busy road, a teenager felt God's love and was reminded that he isn't alone.
This is what it means to hold fast to love.
This precious kid is still on the streets. But as we continue to love and encourage him, he is taking steps, slowly but surely, to leave the streets. He is learning that Jesus loves him.
So we will wait. We will continue to love even when it's hard.
By the help of our God we can return, again and again, in order to share the love of Christ.