When my eight-year-old son, David, is praying at bedtime, he frequently offers up an appeal to God on behalf of the orphans. He first thanks God that he’s not an orphan, that God has placed him into a family. Then he prays that God would gather up the orphans of the world and put them into families, too.
I told David that God is sharing His heart of compassion with him. God cares deeply about orphans. And He wants us to care for them, too.
God extends His compassion through people who are moved by His love to receive the orphan into their hearts and into their homes.
I thought about how our Heavenly Father is stirring the hearts of His children to walk with Him through the fields of the fatherless, gathering up all the orphans like a great harvest, and placing them into families.
All this reflection on the heart of God for the orphan made me think about the reality of our spiritual adoption. Through Jesus, God opens His heart to us, and receives us into His household. He happily bestows on us all of the benefits and privileges of sons and daughters. Our spiritual adoption is a truth so staggering and wonderful that we can scarcely believe it. Sometimes, we don’t believe it fully.
So we live like orphans. And it breaks God’s heart.
Someone once suggested a searching test question that I’ve never forgotten. Sure, you believe God loves you, but is he fond of you? I don’t know about you, but when I first posed that question to myself, I hesitated before answering. And then I responded affirmatively, but rather coolly, as if I were filling out a religious questionnaire. I wasn’t feeling it.
To be honest, I felt tolerated. God was willing to put up with me, but He was none too happy about it. I was related to God by some legal technicality, but I wasn’t a favored son. This kind of thinking–the orphan mindset–is a hideous, hell-born deception straight from the father of lies. And it grieves our Father’s heart.
I will explore the staggering truth of our spiritual adoption next time. Until then, I just wanted to let you know that “God loves you” is so much more than a bumper sticker generality. God loves you particularly. And God is very fond of you. I mean, you have no idea.
Are you living like a spiritual orphan?