I have been thinking a lot about adoption lately. Both theologically — the idea that we are all adopted children of God if we are in Christ (Ephesians 1:4-6, Romans 8:22-24) — as well as the reality of actual adoption in real life.
A few weeks ago I spent a weekend in Boston with a friend who is in the foster care-to-adoption process. It was amazing watching her and her daughter interact. While mom is an red-haired and white daughter is African-American. But watching them together you just knew that they were mother and daughter and God had knit them together as a family. Very cool.
Then the next weekend, I spent it with a family who has three adopted kids (also via foster care–see above picture) who all came with lots of issues and baggage. I have never seen or experienced more of God’s grace and mercy and heart then watching the relational interaction in this family. Also, Hebrews 12:4-10 came alive for me as I watched and I developed a new understanding of parenting, discipline, and therefore also my heavenly Abba who has adopted me. You’ve got to read this post here about this family. Amazing!
I also know two families who are actively in the adoption process. One of the families has 7 kids already, but really sense that the family is not yet complete (read more here). The other family is trying to adopt four kids from Guatamala and really see this as a calling. (Find out more here).
In his first letter, John writes this:
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.” (John 3:1-3)
We are God’s adopted children. And that is a beautiful thing — a picture of grace that I think we can barely fathom. But adoption is also really hard — for both parent and child. It is a process of learning trust, discipline and having your very identity transformed. In other words, it might be the most powerful picture of what it means to be COMPLETLY TRANSFORMED BY THE LOVE OF GOD IN CHRIST BY THE WORKING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
It is a mystery.
It is not always easy or pretty.
But it is where LIFE IS FOUND.
Thank you Father, that you are my father. Thank you that you have adopted me into your family by the very blood of your Son Jesus Christ. And thank you that you continue to shape, transform and sanctify me into the likeness of your Son through the power of the Holy Spirit. Thanks daddy. I love you. Help me to love you more. Amen.
(By the way, if you have not read this post from J.R. Mahon yet, you really have to!)