Biblical adoption marked by grace
There are moments when I think I would be a great author to my own story. Thankfully the moments are fleeting or fueled by my own impatience. But if we were the author maybe we would choose a different storyline for the present, or ensure the future looks a certain way, or go back to the beginning of our story and rewrite some of the heartache and pain. But truthfully, much like pottery is finally finished after its been in the kiln, our stories have so much more depth and beauty after they have been under intense fire.
This month is National Adoption Awareness Month and as an adoptive mother I don’t want to get trapped into admiring beautiful pottery without recognizing the process that it had to endure to get there. Adoption is a beautiful picture, but adoption is complex. There is so much correlation in the Bible about Christ followers being adopted into God’s family. At times the Christian church utilizes that message to propel people to adopt children because it is what God did for them. Though it is true that I was adopted by Christ, sometimes in that lens it is easy to forget the whole picture. Adoption was not the end game, it was just the beginning.
I started in a place of brokenness, a place marked by separation from God. When I was adopted into God’s family it was never from a place of expectation for gratitude or to fulfill something in Him. It was not to complete His family or make Him feel better about Himself. It was not to show others how good He was or be applauded as the great Rescuer. I was adopted as God’s child for one reason – love. But not the kind of love characterized by flowers and lullabies. The love of Christ is fierce, long suffering, enduring and intentional. He wanted to provide me a place to rest, to heal, to lavish grace upon, to learn under gentle guidance. He desired for me to know that even if I rejected Him, He would never reject me. He wanted me to know I was chosen, even in my pain.
The Bible says that “in love” Christ adopted us and in that love He lavishes on us His grace. (Esphesians 1:5). It is easy to see grace as a weakness, offering something that is not reciprocated or fully comprehended. But grace is the opposite, grace is incredible strength modeled in spite of.
In spite of my failure, He loves me = grace
In spite of my arrogance, He loves me = grace
In spite of my rejection, He loves me = grace
In spite of my pride, He loves me = grace
In spite of my anger, He loves me = grace
In spite of my weakness, He loves me = grace
In spite of my futility, He loves me = grace
Goodness, if I can see my own adoption in Christ through that lens, then it makes the Biblical perspective of adoption a different story.
Every adoption story should model Christ’s adoption of us, which is marked by sacrificial love and long-suffering endurance through grace.