Sunday, December 18, 2005

Adoption - Ephesians 1:5

3How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He's the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. 4Long before he laid down earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. 5Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) 6He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.
--Ephesians 1:3-6 (The Message)

I’ve known parents who have adopted children. Some even have their own biological children as well. To talk to these parents has given me insight into their decision that has led to this special love. A love I cannot fathom.

The adoption process is long and arduous. Painful at times. The planning involved after making that first decision must be grueling as the parents sift through legal paperwork. Some choose who they think would be the perfect baby for their family, only to be rejected either by the agency or the birth mother. How heartbreaking it must be to hope a particular child will become your own, only to have her ripped from your heart. I cannot imagine the pain.

But then, when all the red tape cooperates and delivers their tiny package with a perfect bow, the joy must be amazing. To take that child into their home and raise him as their own, to integrate him into their lifestyle, requires a unique love. And most parents manage this seamlessly, sometimes to the point that if you didn’t know them well, you’d think that child had been in the family from day one.

Long, long ago, before even the world was a gleam in my Father’s eye, he decided to adopt me. He did this “according to His pleasure and will” as the NIV put it. By the time I came along, all pink and wrinkled, He’d already done the paperwork. The legal documents were signed, with one line left for my signature. God loved me so much, that He penned the document to require that I accept adoption into His family, much like our legal system today where an agency or the birth mother must okay the transaction.

What pain I could have caused Him if I had refused to sign. He already loved me, had plans for me, He was even preparing a house for me in anticipation of the day we’d be together forever. If I hadn’t “signed” that document, I would have ripped myself from His heart. I would have caused him unimaginable pain if I had refused his offer of adoption.

But I didn’t refuse. I became his child in October of 1973 through Jesus Christ. When I accepted the Savior, I signed on the dotted line. Then, God wrapped me in His arms, took me into His Kingdom, and said “Welcome home.”

I believe God wishes all to sign His document. But, obviously some will refuse, not realizing that it’s the best thing they can do for themselves. If they only realized the pleasure that God had in planning for their adoption, if they only knew the pain they caused by refusing, how then could then turn Him down?

Heavenly Father, Thank you for adopting me into Your kingdom. Thank you for integrating me into your family. Let me never forget how I came to be in Your home, and forgive me when I am sometimes ungrateful or resentful. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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