The Great Secret of Adopted Children
Lucinda Secrest McDowell
Today I am in the Netherlands where I will, in an act of honor and gratitude, visit the gravesite of the woman who gave birth to my first three children.
I never knew Inka, but I am looking forward to meeting her in heaven one day – we love all the same people! And I am utterly thankful for her life (too short though it was) for in many ways her life was pivotal for the unfolding journey of my own life…
I was ecstatic to mail engraved announcements which included this verse: “Here am I, and the children the Lord has given me!” (Isaiah 8.18)
Because once they were not my children, but now they are.
I am reminded of Peter’s similar words, “Once you weren’t a people, but now you are God’s people. Once you hadn’t received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2.10)
All of my four children are a great mercy to my life.
The whole adoption process helped me better understand the Father’s love: “See what kind of love the Father has given to us in that we should be called God’s children, and that is what we are!”(1 John 3:1)
Honey, we are no longer orphans—we are allowed to call the Creator of the universe Abba, the most intimate Aramaic word for “Daddy.”
That is not your destiny! “God destined us to be his adopted children through Jesus Christ because of his love. This was according to his goodwill and plan.” (Ephesians 1.5)
When God offers us new birth and adoption into His forever family, we receive all the rights of sons and daughters – we become heirs. “You received a Spirit that shows you are adopted as his children. With this Spirit, we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’” (Romans 8.15)
And the most important (and miraculous) thing of all? He wants us as His children not because of anything we’ve done for Him, not because of how we look or how smart we are or because we have gotten everything just right. He calls us His children because of love. And mercy. And grace.
In fact, we can never be worthy of a place in the family. But we have one.
Even though I don’t possess material wealth, all I have is fully available to my children. Because of my great love for them, I willingly give of my resources, my strength, my creativity, my wisdom, my encouragement, and my possessions each day. How sad I would be if they acted as if I’d never come along. How useless I’d feel if they never came to me for all the blessings I so desire to give them.
If I feel this way, how much more so must my heavenly Father when I run around acting like an orphan, and not His child.
“Fatherlike, he tends and spares us; All our hopes and fears he knows. In his hands he gently bears us; rescues us from all our foes. Allelulia! Alleluia! Widely as his mercy flows.” [“Praise My Soul the King of Heaven,” Henry F. Lyte, 1834]
“We are children, perhaps, at the very moment when we know that it is as children that God loves us – not because we have deserved His love and not in spite of our undeserving; not because we try and not because we recognize the futility of our trying; but simply because He has chosen to love us. We are children because He is our Father; and all of our efforts, fruitful and fruitless, to do good, to speak truth, to understand, are the efforts of children, who, for all their precocity, are children still in that before we loved Him,He loved us, as children through Jesus Christ our Lord.” [ Frederick Buechner, “The Magnificent Defeat”]
Thank you, Abba.
under the mercy, Cindy