I thought that after nearly 260 credit hours of Bible College that I had a significant portion of my spiritual life figured out. I can honestly say that I was completely wrong. The following lesson learned was probably one of the most significant “Ah Ha” moments that I have had in the last ten years of my faith.
We met some amazing children at Bridges of Faith, and our heart was moved to adopt them into our family. We bonded with these children, and went so far as to imagine them into our family functions and events. We grew to love these children and ignorantly assumed the adoption process would move fairly smooth. Then the hammer fell, along with my heart, when we learned that the children we are adopting have to accept our offer in Ukraine court. Essentially they have to verbally state they want to join our family and have our name. I was torn to pieces as I realized that even though I have already committed my emotions to these children, there was a chance they might say no. I was not upset with fear that they might “reject” me; rather I was deeply saddened to think that they might deny our family which would result in their remaining slaves to the system. They would remain subject to the percentages of aged-out orphans who are trafficked, jailed, or commit suicide. They would be slaves to their world. I could imagine myself in that court hearing, with my heart on the edge of a precipice, careful to not even breath as I desperately lean towards the child; frantic to hear even the quietest whisper of them accepting my name! Staged and ready to swoop in at the slightest murmur of my name; to embrace them, and make them blood of my blood, heart of my heart. Simultaneously I would be prepared to weep at the prospect of their denial, knowing they don’t understand that their rejection forces them to continue in dismal, lonely, and dark surroundings; in a situation where they are ascribed no value, and death leans over their shoulder whispering into their ears that they are nothing.
THEN IT HIT ME!
Christ adopted ME! But Jesus could NEVER FORCE me to be His child! Just like we grew to love these children before they even knew us, God loved us! He loved us before we were born. He knows us. He pursues us. He whispers to us with a still small voice lovingly calling us to him. Then the day in court arrives. I am sitting in the middle of the room as Jesus asks me if I want to be a part of His family; ALL of heaven is pressing against Christ as He leans his ear towards me desperate to hear me call his name, and accept his call to salvation. He has no prideful fear of rejection, rather is heartbroken at the thought that I might refuse his offer choosing instead to remain in my broken life, with all the pain and death surrounding me. I called his name and he instantly swooped me up, gave me his name, and made me blood of his blood. He gave me a new life; he made me citizen to a new country; and he gave me a future. I had to accept him though, just as these children have to accept us! He does not force, or coerce. He gently calls us, passionately pursues us, and desires to give us his name! HE ADOPTED US. Now he asks us to mimic his heart by adopting these children, which displays a beautiful picture of the grace and love given to us. We adopt, because we were first adopted. We love, because he first loved us.