I LOVE the doctrine of adoption. In the past year and a half it has become very real to our family. Our littlest is currently in the bedroom napping…we love him SO much. There is nothing he could do to make us stop. In our minds and hearts, he is fully ours. This is even though we are still awaiting finalization…which can be a bit scary for a mama’s heart (and the rest of the family as well). But, the point is, he doesn’t have to question our love, even though he was first our foster baby.
This is a beautiful picture of God’s love for us. He has ADOPTED us into His family and He loves us forever. There is nothing we could do to lose His love because He has ADOPTED us permanently. He has “no more wrath for His children”. Jesus paid the penalty for our sins. There is NO MORE WRATH…did you read that? Even after knowing the Lord since I was 18 years old (that was a LONG time ago 🙂 ), this truth stood out to me as I read. Elyse writes, “You see,we’re not ‘in’ Christ in some non-familial, detached way. Instead, we’re actually Christ’s brothers (John 20:17; Rom. 8:29), members of His household, and therefore heirs and recipients with Him of all his Father’s riches (Gal. 4:7).”
This truth is very real and should affect our daily lives. Ellyse writes, “Rather than relegating eternal life to a future day, we must realize that we possess His live now, especially on those days when we struggle against unbelief and sin and are tempted to think that He is so disappointed in us that He has to forsake us.” She also writes, “We’ve been granted complete reconciliation and peace with the Holy King of Heaven. We don’t have to go around thinking that He is angry with us or hostile to us. No, He is at peace with us.”
As I read the comparison with how a Foster child responds to their Foster family it rang true in my heart and reminds me of so many stories I have heard. We have to have SO much grace toward those who have either lost their children due to their choices or are those children who have needed foster and adoptive parents to love them and raise them as their own. We have to be so careful…we never know the whole story. The phrase “But God…” reminds me that if He had not saved me, my choices would be VERY different then they are. That little aside was on my heart because I in no way want to sound like I think I have it all together when it comes to talking about what foster and adoptive children have gone through. By way of observation and real life stories I have heard as we were trained to be Foster/Adoptive parents, there is a distrust of those in authority and a distrust of someone who says they love them. They have been through things no child should ever have to experience. There is a hesitancy and a “guardedness” that is present as they feel out new situations. This is not even “on purpose”, but instead a conditioned response from what they have gone through. It is so hard to even write on this topic because it really breaks my heart. My heart is broken for the parents that are making and have made these choices…they need to know the love of the God Who forgives sin. They need to cry out to the Only One who will not fail them. My heart is broken for these children from babies to those that are grown. They need to know the love of God that is everlasting and not based on performance. They need to know the Love that can be trusted. There is redemption in this God. Those that are broken through and because of this process can find hope and wholeness in Him. My words fall so short here, but God never does. NEVER.
We do not have to be guarded with God. We are not to hide from Him when we fail, but run to Him. He is our refuge. He is our hope…He disciplines those who He loves, but we can trust that discipline…always. We are reminded that “He never punishes us in wrath because He has NO wrath left. Every drop of His wrath was all poured out on His Son”. Let that sink in. This is SO beyond my understanding. Where I struggle with forgiveness at times, He does NOT! Where I punish for the wrong reasons at time, He NEVER does. Let that wash over our minds and change our thinking! Again, we were reminded that “All of us are, at some point, in need of being reminded of the riches of our inheritance. Perhaps what you need to call to mind is that God has promised Himself to you. This is the best news you could ever hear. You are welcome in His presence, He’s yours!” I am quieted in humility and gratefulness. My eyes are teary as I recall God’s goodness to me and as I think on how often I misrepresent God (to myself) in my thinking in this area.
I am going to close with Ellyce’s words here, “If you lack assurance, feel plagued by your failures or wrongly believe that God is in a perpetual state of being ticked off at you, remember that His Son bore every drop of wrath against you and that He is completely and irrevocable reconciled to you. There’s no more wrath to be had. His disposition toward you today is what it has been since He made you His own: He loves you and longs for you to know it and savor every drop of it.”
I am SO grateful.
I am participating in this book study with Gracelaced.com and gracefullmama.com Please visit their wonderful sites to read more reflections on this chapter.