I’m thinking so much of my third son, who I call Benji on this web space, as I read 1 John about my own adoption.
1 John 3:1-3 "See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we will see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure."
And the many cross references this passage led me to in the Bible showed me so much about what it means to be a child of God...
Galatians 3:26 “for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.”
Ephesians 1:5 “He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ according to the purpose of his will.”
John 1:12 “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”
Romans 8:15 “For you did not receive the Spirit of slavery to fall back into fear but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, to who we cry Abba Father!”
Romans 8:18 “For I consider that the present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
2 Corinthians 4:17 “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
Romans 8:29 “For those whom he predestined to be conformed to the image of his son in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”
2 Corinthians 4:11 “For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”
Quick thoughts as I meditate on all these Scriptures on what it means to be a child of God:
We have a different legacy offered us. One of not death and sin, but of a pure way of living. We are no longer enslaved to sin or to fear, but we are now sons and daughters of God. We have a new citizenship, not on earth but in heaven. Not only that, but we are given new genetics. We are BORN of him it says later in this passage. We are given new family in the body of believers. We are given a new hope and new purpose, way beyond any present sufferings in this world. We need not be ashamed of the past, nor do we fear the future. We are changed into the image of Jesus, made pure in our new bloodline. We are unrecognizable to the world, as Christ was, because those who walk in the darkness cannot perceive the light unless God graces them with eyes to see.
For me, this passage is everything. I am waiting. I am suffering. I am fearful. I am in pain. I walk into a season where I may gain one son and lose another. Or I may keep all my sons, and grieve a family’s loss for their own. Or I may be told by the Lord to keep waiting, keep trusting, keep the faith that He is in control. We move forward not for the seen outcomes- Solomon’s birth and Benji’s adoption- but for the unseen ones, the eternal ones. We move forward for THEIR adoption as sons of God and we pray for Benji’s bio parents to be adopted into the family of God.
I feel as though I’m being given over to death in my body and heart often, but I am praising as God keeps manifesting his LIFE and AGAPE LOVE through me! Throughout all, I have assurance that I am a child of God. This changes everything for me, and is the reason in the first place we moved forward to make Benji our child. Because what other response can we have as adoptees ourselves? When you are LAVISHED in the love of Christ, you have much love to give, no matter what temporary affliction this love leads you to. God did not promise it would be easy, but He promised to be WITH us throughout. He is Immanuel.
We have three months until Solomon joins our family, and 8 more months until Beni’s next hearing. We are suspended in time, worshiping each day, trusting each day, and praying each day. We cry ABBA FATHER and gather all our little ones as He gathers us. God be with us and God go before us. You are worthy. You are good.