I have been intentionally reading the book Adopted For Life by Russel Moore very slowly. So far (and I’m only in chapter 5) I have laughed out loud and cried out in sobs. I can feel a shift in my own heart that both petrifies me and brings me great joy. I am understanding in a deeper way the pure theology of spiritual adoption. We are all orphans. And when the Lord Jesus reaches down and picks us up in our soiled and unkept state, it scares us so much that we reach back to our stained and smelly crib, the only place we know as “home”.
Adoption can only truly be understood and appeciated in the context of God and His adopted love for us. He is our Father, but only because His reach is long and His love is great.
“We don’t fully believe that our new Father will feed us, so we hang on to our scraps and long for the regimented schedules of the orphanage from which we’ve come. And when our Father pushes us along to new tastes, we pout that he’s not good to us. But he’s readying us for glory, preparing us to take our place on thrones as heirs.”
It is hard enough to believe that God would care to call me one of His own. I am surely the smelliest baby of them all. I am most definetly the least desired one. But it is absolutely astonishing to know He is preparing an eternal home for me in absolute perfect glory. That I can hardly fathom.
This beautiful doctrine of God’s Fatherhood and my adoption to Him makes my heart sing. I feel like a child again. I am reminded of the Lord’s parental love for me. Everything He put’s in my way is for my good and His glory. In the same way I care about the hearts of my children, so does Jesus for mine. I am His adopted child. Which is just like saying I am His very own.
Let me finish with a great story Moore writes about in Adopted For Life,
“Once at a gathering with several friends, I stopped listening to the person talking to me and crooked my head to overhear a conversation that another (much older and wiser) man was having with others. He was speaking of ancient Jewish patterns of prayer and how different they are from contemporary patterns. Our Jewish and early Christian forefathers, he said, would rarely have prayed silently with heads bowed. Instead, they prayed noisily, with their arms outstretched to the heavens. We know this from the Old Testament Scriptures as well as from early Christian catacomb art. I knew this, but what made the hair stand up on my arms was the older man’s characterization of the physicality of this stance. He stood with his arms outstretched upward and asked, “Does this not look like a toddler, in virtually every human culture, crying out to his parents for food or attention?” He continued, “And is it not also cruciform? How is it our Lord Jesus would have cried out, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me’? Was it not with arms stretched out to the heavens, as a child to his father?”
I am blessed to be an orphan adopted into the family of God. And the implications of this truth is rooting itself deep inside me.