As many have the opportunity to do, I've had much time to reflect on our adoption journey. Pondering the timing of it all, the enormity of God's plan and orchestration, the mystery of complete strangers becoming family members forever, Jesus' love and goodness...among other things. And as I've done so, a theme of interruption emerges.
After we were married, Ryan and I had our neat and tidy plan to have a strapping pack of biological children and then to adopt from China once we had the "parenting thing down" (I'm sure all seasoned parents are laughing at our absurdity). It was a nice idea.
But God interrupted our plan with His. *HONK! HONK! Insert massive Mack truck of God's plans intercepting my Fiat-sized plans* Two years and many tears into our plan not working, He showed us the time was right to start the adoption process. (You can read about that here) He knew from the beginning that for Ivan to join our family, we would need to start the paperwork at the right time.
As my reflections continued, I thought about how this so closely parallels how Jesus brings us into His family. He was willing for his perfect existence with the Father to be interrupted...astonishingly so. To leave Heaven, come to earth, and to be with us and make us part of His family. To die on the cross to pay the penalty of the wrong things we do. Why? "For the joy set before Him..." (Heb. 12:2). While we are OVERJOYED with the anticipation of meeting Ivan, He counted it a JOY to endure torture (and more) so that our sin might not keep us from being part of His family. While Ryan and I have endured many ups and downs and financial costs, would we be willing to endure torture, ridicule, and worse to bring Ivan home? This is a sobering thought.
So what does this type of love require? How do we respond to the God of the Universe who has said, "I want to make you my son or daughter?" (CLUE: He's looking for something more than pen pals.) He's looking for us to accept Jesus' sacrifice as the full payment for all the wrong that has kept us from Him (and would lead us to hell); To joyfully accept His invitation to be His child; For us to follow His Son's example of loving God and loving others; To honor our Father's name in all we do.
Friends, if you haven't accepted His offer, please consider getting on your knees tonight to do so. Because He isn't looking to make pen pals, He's looking to make sons and daughters.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!
~1 John 3:1
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. ~John 1:12