According to Isaiah 58:10, if you will spend yourself, hope will become available to others, and hope will fill you, too. Darkness will recede as your light shines.
It can be difficult to live out Isaiah 58:10, though. We like the principle but tend to avoid the practice, both consciously and unconsciously. However, through Reimagining Pro-Life: 30 Days With Save the Storks, you are turning principle into practice. Being intentional about spending ourselves for others doesn’t always come easily, but as we pursue love, compassion, and action — sacrificial giving for mothers and their babies — we won’t regret the cost. Let’s embark on a journey that brings light and hope to one of the most complex issues in society today: the tragedy of abortion.
We want to take that journey with you. Right here, in the middle of our everyday lives, we can learn to experience God’s age-old promise in Isaiah 58. By making the decision to engage in 30 Days with Save the Storks, you are choosing to wrestle with an issue that impacts the lives of millions of people in our world. You’re inviting God into your thoughts on abortion, and you’re inviting the reality of abortion into your prayer life with God. As Christ-followers, we choose to welcome the widow, the orphan, and the refugee into our prayer and practice of what it means to be a Christian. Similarly, we want to bring the issue of abortion into our conversations with God about how to love Him by loving others well.
One of our deepest desires is to change the conversation around the pro-life movement. We don’t want to engage the current debate; we want to reimagine it. We want to shift the focus away from divisive language to a dialogue of hope and true empowerment. We want to meet women in their time of need with the kind of love, compassion, and action that support them no matter what. Our mission is to move hearts and minds, enabling these women to see that life, whatever the circumstances, is always worth celebrating.
The miracle of God’s nature is that, as we learn to bring this hope and light to others, we experience goodness in our lives, too. The temptation to ignore the serious issues that cloud the far edges of our daily lives is constant. We can easily spend all of our energy on seeking satisfaction in ‘Self’ — in acceptance, in security, in distractions and entertainment. But we also know that a quest focused on ‘me, my, and mine’ will never satisfy the longing deep within our hearts to experience the fullness of what God wants to do in and through us.
There is so much more to life as a Christ-follower than self-absorption. Jesus championed the ‘needy,’ the ‘weak,’ and the ‘vulnerable,’ and He asks us to do the same (Luke 4:13–18; Matthew 25:40). He asks us to spend ourselves on behalf of these people. Because we live in a culture that tells us to ‘climb higher,’ we often isolate ourselves from those in need. However, during these next thirty days, we will work together to give God the room to grow our empathy and gratitude.
As we begin to invest the resources of our lives (things like time, creativity, money, or community) in others in the same way that God has invested Himself in us, God’s powerful light begins to shine in and through us. It will also surely illuminate some dark places, like our own broken hearts or the stark reality of abortion clinics. Sometimes we would rather keep these spaces untalked about; we would rather keep them hidden. But God wants to bring us unimaginable freedom; He wants us to join Him in the mighty miracles that He has planned.
During these thirty days together, we will spend time on four big ideas (Letting Go, Identity, Compassion, and Mission) that will help us to understand how we can “spend ourselves” well. We will also invite you to take on several simple activities that may be outside of your normal routine. These ‘empathy challenges’ are designed to help us imagine the pressures, and even feel the hurt, that these vulnerable women experience — and they are all around us.
This will be a short, sweet, and, at times, challenging journey, and that’s exactly why we are excited to walk it with you. If we want not only to save the lives of babies, but also to serve their mothers, fathers, and families, then we have to reimagine a pro-life movement that isn’t afraid of thinking, talking, and praying about thorny topics. More than this, we must live differently. For thirty days, let’s learn to turn hate to love, judgment to compassion, and apathy to action.
Dedicate a journal, a note in your phone, or another creative space to these next thirty days. First, ask God to show you particular areas of your life that are in need of His light (confused, sinful, terribly sad, broken). Then, write your list down!
After you do, think about this reality that is a dim corner in our nation: over 2,000 babies are aborted daily in the United States alone, not to mention in other nations. Spend at least five minutes in focused prayer, asking God to increase your awareness of not only your own brokenness and need but also the brokenness of people near and far. Take a few minutes to watch this video of Save the Storks President, Paul Isaacs as an introduction to the heart behind this devotional!