So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world. But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.
I think I mentioned a long time ago that I have a birth father and an adopted father. Several years back, I wrote a tribute to both of them. So I already know about being adopted by someone who has no reason whatsoever to love me, other than he loved my mother. Adoption is both a legal standing and a relational standing. My dad, who started out as my step-dad, went through legal proceedings to make me his own, but legal proceedings don't equate to love. I supposed that he could have adopted me because my mom made it a condition of marrying him. But part of the legal proceedings of adoption involved me telling the judge that I wanted him to be my dad and that he was a good dad. If I hadn't felt love from him, I probably would not have agreed to the adoption and my wishes would have been considered by the judge. I remember standing before the judge on my 5th birthday and telling her that I was okay with Bill being my dad. It was actually more than okay. It was great, because I had grown to love him. And from that point on, my last name changed and my personality and character started being shaped by him as well as my mother, grandparents and great-grandparents. When I married, I essentially became adopted into my husband's rather large family and my family expanded again. And when my brother married, his wife was adopted into our family.
As the verse at the top indicates, I have also been adopted as God's child when I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. That decision has meant following His lead outside of my comfort (a.k.a. "safety") zone so many times. But each time, I have been blessed by the people He has brought in my life and I have known that He has been with me in every situation in which He has placed me. Currently, God has us attending a church three miles from our home in the middle of the poorest section of Mesa. It has grown out of a combination of a Young Life group and an initiative started by "the Mothership" church we were attending that offers ESL, computer, parenting and other services to the community. I love the fact that it is a bilingual service, with worship, prayer and the sermon in English and Spanish and that several different "tribes" are represented by the church, brought together by the power of God. And while some of my worldly interests don't always align with other people (maybe politics, culture, some musical genres), I feel as if God is bringing us all together to give us a little glimpse of what heaven is going to be like, where every tribe, tongue and nation will be gathered together to worship God. And joining this church, heck, joining any church is kind of like an adoption because, at its best, it is a group of people joining in a family to encourage each other in the faith, help each other in times of need, and rejoice together on all occasions.
So I have to thank God for adopting me as His own and giving me so many opportunities to be adopted and to adopt others in His church family, my earthly family and in my husband's family. I love you all!