11.06.2012

It's Scandalous, But True

In my last post, "Will You Search Your Reason for Saying No?" I talked about how if a family claims to be a Jesus-loving, Jesus-preaching, Gospel-centered family, that the pursuit of adoption should be happening by many, many, many more Christian families. Don't allow the "not all Christians should adopt" to let you feel "off the hook." The bigger question is, why would you be saying no, and is it really legitimate? And no, finances for an adoption is not legitimate (later post for a later time).

So if you claim to be that Jesus-loving, Jesus-preaching, Gospel-centered family, then why should you be pursuing the adoption of orphans? Because if you've claimed Jesus, you yourself have been adopted.  Now before you tune me out, please keep reading! It will refresh and encourage your soul!

You were once that older child, wandering the streets of a third world country, looking for someone to love you, looking for something to give you purpose. Looking for a place to belong, an identity. You dabbled in all sorts of terrible, awful things to try to find that identity. You were hungry, confused, lonely, despairing, and without true, unconditional love found within the safety of a family...

You were once that child, going from house to house in the foster care system, wondering when you would ever be good enough for someone to keep you...

You were once that baby in an orphanage, without anything or anyone to call your own. You didn't belong anywhere, you weren't personal to anyone, you were without a family. You were just one of the hundreds of little faces all jammed packed into one room, waiting for someone to see you individually, to personally love you...
Korah, Ethiopia (By: Tiffany Darling)

If you call yourself a Christian, there was a time when you lived in the middle of all the scenarios above.
  • You had no real identity. Then, you met Jesus. If you have accepted the forgiveness only Jesus provides, then you are a Christian and have a new identity worth far more than any other identity on this earth. You have been adopted into the family of God as several Bible passages tell us. No other facade of "identity" matters... not your birth family, not your circumstances, not your heritage, and not your upbringing. If you have Jesus' identity, available only through being adopted as God's sons and daughters, then you have HIS status. As Philip Ryken said in his book on Galatians, "The reason identity with Christ is such a magnificent doctrine is that once we get into Christ by faith, then everything Christ has ever done becomes something we have done. It's as if we had lived his perfect life and died his painful death. It's as if we were buried in his tomb and then raised to glorious heaven. God attaches to us the events of Christ's life so that they become part of our lives. His story- the story of the cross and empty tomb- becomes our story."
  • You were desperately trying to be good enough. Then, you met Jesus. Jesus kept the law PERFECTLY for us. And, if you are a true Christian, if you have a relationship with Jesus, HIS record of perfection gets transfered to you! You are free!!! Free from the burden of expectation. Free from the burden of your own pursuits! Free from the desperation to prove yourself worthy! When you fail, when you sin, when you shake your fists and turn your back on what God asks of you, you can thank God that your relationship with Him isn't based on your obedience, but on Jesus' obedience. Even your sin and failures is an occasion to remind you that your Savior, Jesus, is praying for you, and that your sin won't ever separate you from Him, or His love for you. He continues to smile at you because you are His beloved child, with whom He is well pleased, and that is it! You are assured that you are finally and fully good because of what Jesus has done. Your exhausting pursuit of trying to be good enough to be loved, is forever gone. You are unconditionally accepted. 
  • You didn't belong anywhere. You had no family. Then, you met Jesus. "God sent forth his Son...to redeem us...that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying 'Abba! Father! So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. (Galatians 4:4-7). When God adopted you into his family, you received a deep, eternal inheritance. You received a perfect Father and an entire body of believers with which to live in, grow in, and flourish in. You received a father in God, who embraces you fully as His own, who loves you fiercely and unconditionally. Who knows you personally and intimately. A Father who gives you the best identity in the world, who doesn't make you work for His love, and a Father who will never desert you and leave you to fend for yourself on the street. 
This, my dear friends, is the message of the Gospel, and this, my dear friends, is the story of YOUR adoption! Where on earth would you be had God not reached out and adopted you as his son or daughter. It's earth-shattering to dwell upon. Adoption is a vibrant picture of the Gospel. It's the reality of what has happened to us. Who we were, what God has done, who we are now, and the fact that He redeemed us that we might be adopted as sons and receive all the blessings of heirship. Our adoption brought us life, unconditional love and acceptance, protection, and the privilege of relationship...our status FOREVER, has been changed.

This dear friends, is why Christians adopt. And when you see it for what it truly is, suddenly, all of our petty excuses and lame reasons why "our family isn't called to adopt" seem so trivial, so pointless. What if the very reasons you feel you aren't in that category of "Christians families "called" to adopt" were the very same reasons God decided not to send Jesus to adopt you? It's too messy, it's too painful, we're too busy, it's too costly, it's too much work, people will reject me, my family will reject me, it's too much sacrifice, it ruins our "homogenous look," and worst of all, "I can't love someone not my 'own.'" What if Jesus said He couldn't love you because you weren't 'his own blood?' Because guess what, you aren't.

I know the risk of writing blog posts like this, and I'm okay with that. They are not written from a heart of pride or condemnation. They are truly written from a heart who longs to see more Christian families care for what is on the heart of God, and you cannot read Scripture and find that the orphan is not on the heart of God. And you cannot read the Scriptures and see that if you call yourself a Christian, you are now an ex-orphan. You yourself, are now adopted.

3 comments:

doddyj said...

love it Rachael. Thanks for the encouragement. Just a thought though - maybe some DO want to adopt but just aren't in the position to do so in this very moment. I long for that, but there's no way right now. But we keep praying...

Jon said...

I am challenged tremendously by this post. I hope we can encourage others to pursue something massive such as adoption!

Jenn, it's amazing that you guys are even thinking about it! I believe Rachael is addressing families that do not even consider it, whether now or later. But you guys are, and that's awesome!

Dawn Michal said...

boom! way to be bold Rachael. truth. love this post.