Greetings from Kathy Collard Miller in the Southern California desert near Palm Springs.
Imagine that you’re an orphan in a children’s home, desperately wanting to be adopted. One miraculous day a family arrives, they point to you, and say, “We want that child.” You cry with gratitude as the papers are signed and notarized. You climb into the car with your new family. It’s finally happened. You belong!
When you arrive at your new home, you’re astonished at how large it is. They show you a bedroom and it’s beautiful. “A room to myself?” you ask. They confirm it’s true.
That night as you lay in bed surrounded by warmth, you can’t believe what’s happened. But suddenly, you feel a sense of horror creep into your soul. “I don’t deserve all this. I shouldn’t be here so comfortable. I’m just adopted. I’m not like the ‘real’ children.”
With a sense of sadness, you climb out of bed, walk out of the house into the backyard. Wandering around, you find the doghouse and crawl in to lie beside the family dog. Shivering from the cold, you finally fall asleep, tears dropping onto the dirt floor.
The next morning voices awaken you. The mother’s voice shouts from a window. “Have you found her? She’s not in the house.”
From nearby in the yard, the father’s voice replies, “No, I can’t find her here either. Keep looking. I hope she hasn’t gotten lost.”
You rub your eyes as the dog wags his tail and scoots out of the doghouse. You follow him and almost bump into the father’s leg. Looking up, you see his startled look. “What in the world are you doing here? Did you sleep in there?”
Before you can answer, he wraps his strong arms around you, sweeps you up into the air, and carries you into the house. Coming into the kitchen, you see the mother’s face stare in surprise. “Oh, I’m so glad we found you.”
When everyone sits in the living room, the father pleads, “Now, what is this all about? Why didn’t you sleep in your own room?”
You stammer, “I don’t deserve anything like this—it’s so nice!”
The father replies, “Why do you think that? You know you’ve become a part of our family. Everything here is yours as well as ours.”
“But I’m only adopted. I don’t deserve anything as good as the other children receive.”
A smile spreads over the father’s and mother’s faces. “Oh, we understand now. You think your adoption just got you into our family. You can’t believe you can now appropriate everything for yourself.”
When they see your quizzical look, the father explains, “To appropriate means ‘to use’ or ‘call your own.’ You not only became our daughter, you became entitled to everything the rest of our children enjoy. You have the same status and privileges—and responsibilities—as your brother and sister.”
With tears streaming down your cheeks, you jump out of the father’s lap and twirl around in the center of the room. “I’m your daughter. I can live like one of you!”
Galatians 4:5-7 tell us, “In order that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.”