Imagine being a licensed foster parent when a social worker comes to drop a group of five siblings off at your house. You have never met them before and only know a little bit about them. The next several days would be interesting as you struggled to take care of children you didn’t really know. You would have no concept of their background experiences, likes, dislikes, behaviors, needs, etc. You would probably treat them all and respond to them all in the same way for some time, before you began to learn more about them.
Now imagine a father of five children who has cared for them all since birth. Think of how intimately he knows each and every one of those children. He knows what works and what doesn’t work with each one. He knows what motivates them. He knows what makes them tick. If he needed them all to clean their rooms – he might approach each child in a completely different way. For the first one, he might threaten to revoke a privilege if the cleaning is not completed. For the second one, he might promise a treat when the room is cleaned. For the third one, he might simply need to ask nicely. For the fourth one, he might need to start asking hours in advance and give several reminders. For the fifth one, he might need to physically help them to clean. Why would he treat each child differently? Isn’t that unfair? Shouldn’t they all get the same treatment? In actuality, “fair” does not always mean “the same.” As a special education teacher, I can remember working with a group of preschoolers and frequently having to explain this concept to them. When one child got to chew gum at circle time, or got to sit in a special chair, or earned stickers or tokens for good behavior, or got to take a break in the hallway – they wanted to know why that child got to do that and they didn’t. “It’s not fair,” they would say. And I would patiently explain over and over again that “fair” means that each child gets what they need to be successful, and that’s not always the same thing that another child needs. A father knows his children inside and out – and he knows exactly how to help each one to do what they need to do.
It’s the same for our Heavenly Father. He knows His children intimately. He knows what will work with each of us and what won’t work. He knows what motivates us. He knows what makes us tick. And as He pursues each one of us, He knows how to give us what we need in order to see the truth and to come home. Some of us need to read His word, and our eyes are instantly opened. Some of us need someone to share and explain the Gospel to us. Some of us need to see its transformative power in someone else. Some of us need to be invited to church and to take that step to go. Some of us need to experience His presence, or provision, or providence, or love in our lives in an unmistakable way. Some of us need to have a dream or vision of Jesus or some other supernatural experience. Some of us need to study archaeology and history and apologetics to prove His existence. Some of us need to watch a video or read a book or hear someone else’s story. Some of us need to be facing death itself before we even stop to ponder. Some of us first need to become aware of the fact that the path we are on is not the correct one and is leading to death. For someone of us, it only takes once. For others, we need to be told and shown over, and over, and over again. For others, we need someone to come alongside us and help us or we will never get there. Nobody’s story is the same – because we are not the same. But He is our Father. And He knows what will bring each of us to Him.
God wove Jahar together as an infant in his mother’s womb, and from that moment He has never left his side. He knows everything he has been through, everything he is facing at this moment, and everything he will face. He knows his hurts. He knows his likes and his dislikes. He knows what captures his interest, and He knows what touches his heart. He knows exactly what it will take to open his eyes to the truth. He knows if it will take an instant or a lifetime. He knows His lost child.
So I will choose to trust in my Father’s intimate knowledge of my future brother. He is powerful and able to do whatever it takes to bring him home.