Galatians 4:4-5: “But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. 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.”

Orphaned children adopted at an older age usually struggle before opening up to their new parents.  As a result, prospective parents who enlist for adoption mostly prefer adopting children at a younger age – because they are less likely to cause them as much trouble.

Contrary to this practice, our Heavenly Father has been adopting children of all ages and walks of life since the beginning of the human experience.  He went through a lot of trouble to free us from the most unfavorable of circumstances, which the Bible depicts as slavery. To free us from slavery God Himself became a slave. How God’s infinite mind works and how He resolves issues never seems to make sense to the finite human mind; nevertheless, here is the outcome:  by paying the ultimate price, the death penalty, God has officially bailed us out. And with His adoption comes a happy side effect: we establish family ties.

Establishing family ties is a process. Everybody knows that the transition from stranger to children is quite a bumpy road. Adopted children mostly suffer from a distorted world view and need some time to get adjusted to their new identity.

The same is true with God’s adopted children. We see for instance that the people of Israel wandered the Sinai desert for decades before they were able to embrace their new identity as a free people and leave their former slave experience behind. Their exodus from Egypt was just the first step. While they were physically removed from slavery, still their hearts had to learn what it means to be free.

It will always take time and patience to embrace a new identity.  We all have our personal hang-ups and natural tendencies that want to drag us down.  The Prince of Peace is lending us a helping hand here.  Jesus informs us (John 16:33):

“Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

To be adopted by God is our glorious first step – but still, it’s just the first step. Carrying God’s family name has no meaning whatsoever, unless we experience the family life attached to the name. God has adopted many different children from many different places. There is a lot to be learnt, not the least of which is people skills. Growing up with very interesting siblings and experiencing God’s expert parenting skills is certainly part of the family experience. A profound joy lies hidden in the gradual discoveries of God’s wonderful heart.  It’s great to be adopted by God and to realize more and more what it means to belong to Him. The family of God is quite the motley crew – and God is quite the amazing Father!

“There are no strangers
There are no outcasts
There are no orphans of God
So many fallen, but hallelujah
There are no orphans of God”           Written by Joel Lindsey, Twila J. Labar

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