He was wounded because of our rebellious deeds,
crushed because of our sins;
he endured punishment that made us well;
because of his wounds we have been healed. -Isaiah 53.5
If there is something I have learned over the past few weeks it is that there is a HUGE difference between being born into a family and being adopted into a family. Even adoption at or near birth I would consider as being born into when looked at through the eyes of someone who has done both.
What I have also learned over the past few weeks and months is that there is certainly pain associated with adoption. Emotional pain, physical pain and spiritual pain alike. Having gone through all of the pre-adoption agony dealing with state red tape and caseworkers who don’t seem to have the children’s best interest at heart despite what they claim and then going through the pain of bringing a child into the home who has not had any discipline in his life and worse, no expectations to be anything more than an animal, I can see how depraved a person can become when separated from healthy relationship and a family to call his own.
I can relate to the agony of trying to love when true love is foreign and cannot be returned at the moment. With only a glimmer of hope that one day love will be returned and your love will be accepted. I think that I’ve started to develop a new understanding of why adoption is commanded of us.
We are taught that tithing will help us learn to become givers like our Father. I believe this wholeheartedly. What’s the best way to become like someone? To mimic their actions, to do what they do.
I have always believed that God loves adoption and wants us to do it because He adopted us and why wouldn’t we want to share that love that we have received. But now I can see two more reasons why God would command that we take care of the orphans.
The first being of course to make us more like our Father. What better way to understand what we have been given than to mimic that action and give it ourselves? We become more like our Father when we adopt because that is what He has done for us.
Second, these past few weeks have caused me to pause and ponder the similarities to adoption and what Jesus endured leading up to the Cross. Now, I’m not about to compare myself to Christ, none of us will EVER experience what He did (and we can thank God for that). But take a step back and compare the two with me…
Pre-adoption: Jesus spent His time agonizing over what He had to do in order to adopt us into His Father’s family. The Bible says that the mental and physical anguish was so heavy that he literally sweat blood. This is like the paperwork, red tape and apathetic caseworkers that we must deal with to get to the adoption.
The Cross: The torture that could only have been endured out of true love for a person, Jesus endured and gave love with only a glimmer of hope that we would one day accept that love and return that love to Him.
Gotcha Day: That moment in time when Jesus uttered the words, “It is finished.” This was His signature on the paperwork. Now we have the right to be heirs of the Kingdom of God because Jesus can say, “Gotcha!” And we have guidance to get through life instead of flying blindly and reacting to situations in survival mode.
Belief / Acceptance: That day when we accept the love that Jesus poured out so many years ago and that hope that we would love in return becomes a reality.
Returning Love: When we want to return the love that Christ gave to us by giving that same love to others, whether it be through adoption, helping someone who is in need, feeding the homeless, visiting the widows, or whatever else it is that we do to love Jesus.
I think that this new understanding hasn’t fully developed in my puny little brain, but I think that through this experience I have been taught just a little bit more about our Father.
The other thought that occurs to me is this. While the pain that I have been experiencing comes from one whiny little ungracious child (at no fault of his own), the pain that Jesus endured was the adoption pain for all of humanity all at once. Maybe this will straighten me up a bit. Maybe it will make me not want to rebel against the wishes of the Father, because every rebellious thought or action, also known as sin, piles that much more pain onto the one who paid the ransom so that we have the opportunity to be adopted sons of the living God!