Summary: See and serve the most vulnerable. We’re not all called to do the same thing, but we’re all capable of doing something.

A couple months ago I went for a run. I was distracted while searching for a podcast on my phone and didn’t notice the sidewalk was uneven. My toe caught the concrete and I stumbled, tried to regain my balance, and did a face plant on the pavement. At the last moment I put my arms out in front of me, jarring my right shoulder.

The first thing I did was look around to see if anyone saw what happened. When I realized I was alone in my shame, I got up, inspected my body and kept running. A couple days later when starting our lawnmower, I felt something snap in my shoulder.

As I reflected on this, I was reminded that others have fallen during these uneven times, and some have not been seen. I think of those who’ve relapsed into drugs or alcohol. I worry about those who’ve slipped into depression. I fear for children who are being abused, neglected or trafficked. I hurt for those who are elderly and isolated, for those in the hospital and nursing homes. And I’m sad for those grieving the loss of loved ones without the opportunity to gather for funerals or memorial services.

Earlier this week I started reading through the Book of Exodus and was struck by the truth that God sees everyone. Listen to these phrases from the opening chapters: “God heard their groaning, and God remembered...God SAW the people of Israel and God knew...I have surely SEEN the affliction of my people...and have heard their cry...I know their sufferings and I have come down to deliver them...and when they had heard that the Lord had visited the people of Israel and that He had SEEN their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshipped.” (Exodus 2:24-25; 3:7; 4:31)

Let’s ask God to help us see and serve the most vulnerable.

As we near the end of our Family Matters series, I recognize these sermons may have stirred up all kinds of hurt and pain as we’ve focused on mothers, marriage, serving our spouse, what to look for in a mate, singleness, fathers, parenting your prodigal, and intentional grandparenting.

I’m reminded some haven’t been able to have children and others have experienced the raw grief of miscarriage or stillbirth. Our own daughter Lydia wrote something this week that I’d like to share in the hopes you will find it helpful.

Many of you know the statistics of miscarriages. I know I did. [1 out of 4 women] But I thought it wouldn’t happen to me. Miscarrying your baby is emotionally heartbreaking and devastating. It is physically distressing. It has changed me forever. I miss my baby and always will.

I believe all life has value and therefore the loss of any life can and should be grieved. If you have lost a baby by miscarriage, don’t think you can’t grieve because you “were still early” or whatever lies you may hear or tell yourself. This loss of life is worthy of grief. If you think you should “be back to normal by now,” but find yourself struggling to keep up with daily tasks, be gentle with yourself and rest. Your body and soul need to heal.

We have been blessed with another pregnancy and are in awe of the gift of life now more than ever before. Finding out I was pregnant this time brought fear and anxiety. The first few months were so emotionally difficult, balancing the joy of the life growing inside of me with the heartbreak for the life that we lost. I was afraid of feeling like we were “moving on too quickly.”

The truth is, we will never “move on.” There was a new space in our hearts for that baby and now there is emptiness there. We look forward to the day we will be with the baby we lost. In 2 Samuel 12:23, David laments the loss of his son, “Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.”

There’s another group of people who we don’t always see – orphans and vulnerable children.

Here’s our main idea: See and serve the most vulnerable. We’re not all called to do the same thing, but we’re all capable of doing something.

Please turn to Exodus 1:15-2:10 where we will learn how God used women of different ages and stages of life to see and to serve the most vulnerable.

Here’s a bit of background to put our text in context. The Israelites were in Egypt to avoid a severe famine and had multiplied greatly. A new king came to power and was threatened by the increase of the Israelites so verse 13 says he “made their lives bitter with hard service…”

As a way to help me understand this topic better, I read a book called, “Replanted” and consulted a number of websites. These resources are posted on our Sermon Extras tab if you want to learn more. I also reached out to five EBC families who have fostered or adopted. I’ll share some of their insights throughout the message.

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