We are currently up in Ft Worth today for an adoption training seminar with our agency where we are learning how to prepare for a child from Honduras assimilating into our family. On Wednesday night I was trying to enter into the mindset of a kid who is born in another country and for whatever reason is left alone without a family for the rest of his life. This kid spends the first years of their life in a state orphanage and they most likely assume this will be their 'family', and then one day they will be sent out on their own, alone to face the world.
Then one day someone at the orphanage shares with them that a family from another country, that looks different than them and talks different than them, has chosen them to become their adopted child. In a set date in the near future they will leave the orphanage and they will become a son or daughter of the Dunn family. They will arrive to find their new home, their new room, new clothes, a new brother and sister, new grandparents, a new church family (who has been praying for them and supporting them for years already), and a new school. They will be given every right and privilege and promise that belongs to a birth child.
How overwhelming this must be for this little one. I imagine that at first it would be hard to receive all of this because it just seems so surreal. They say that many orphans at first still long for the orphanage because it is all they've ever known and it's hard to process this new life that they have received. Yet eventually it will be key for this new adopted child of ours to walk in and receive their new identity as our child and everything that comes along with that.
The same goes for us. At one time we were slaves to sin and aliens to God's promises and cut off from God's inheritance and were spiritual orphans. But if you've had your heart opened to the gospel and said 'yes' to Jesus for salvation, then here's the new reality as it says in Galatians 4, '4 But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. 5 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. 6 And because you Gentiles have become his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, and now you can call God your dear Father. 7 Now you are no longer a slave but God's own child. And since you are his child, everything he has belongs to you.'
Are you and I living like God's children today? First and most amazing is that God Himself belongs to us as He invites us to come to Him as our 'dear Father.' Do we believe that? This means that when we pray it is so much more than us speaking to the wall but we have a heavenly Father who truly hears us and also has things to share with us if we'll listen. Secondly, it says in this passage that everything He has belongs to us. That's good news for us. Our Dad is really wealthy....as in...He owns everything! All of the spiritual riches of His grace, mercy, joy, peace and life are fully given to us to walk in and enjoy today. He wants us to embrace our new rights and privileges as His children and let go of our old life. We can't understand why God would adopt us and lavish His grace upon us like this, but we honor and glorify Him when, by faith, we receive it and walk in it. Let's do that today!