Make no mistake: Like caring for any child, being a foster parent is difficult. Raising a child is a 24/7 job with what fills like an endless string of appointments, projects and emotions.
As a result, the threat of burnout is a significant issue for foster parents. They work as hard as they can and pour themselves into their children until nothing is left. Finding the time to take care of themselves is difficult. This combination leaves them feeling tired and helpless. Fortunately, the Bible gives us a model for how to prevent burnout amongst foster parents. We don’t even have to read far in Scripture to find it – Moses and Aaron in Exodus 17:10-13:
So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up – one on one side, one on the other – so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.
God’s calling upon our lives is rarely an easy one. We typically have to overcome our natural inclinations to do what God would like. We have to rely on him and his strength.
To that end, God calls others to serve around us. Together, God’s people can accomplish far more than we can alone. In Moses’ case, God brought Aaron alongside him. When Moses wore down, Aaron stepped up, playing a critical support role to accomplish God’s desires.
Maybe God isn’t calling you to become a foster parent today. But he is calling you to serve. When foster parents grow weary, will you be there for them? Will you support them as they care for vulnerable children?
This week, pray over the image above. Pray for Buckner foster families and the children they serve. Many of you know a Buckner foster or adoptive family. Look for ways to serve them. Some of them are looking for support this week.
Let them know you’re there for them.