Adopted

Last week I shared with you all about the new kitten in our household. Well, it’s over a week now since adopting this new member into our family, and it’s been an adventure. Five years have passed since our last kitten, Oreo, came to live with us, and I am now reminded how much fun it is to have a kitten in the house… especially at Christmastime.

This little fellow had to jump through a lot of hoops to be adopted into our family.

First, he had to be tamable, but he passed that test with flying colors in only a day.

Second, to protect our other cats, he had to be disease free. A quick trip to the vet assured us he was a healthy little kitty… and a boy.

Finally, he would have to fit in well with our two other cats. After all, they do rule the roost. After only a couple of days, our five-year-old cat is acting more like a kitten than he has in years, and our thirteen-year-old cat just mostly tolerates the newcomer. That’s about as much acceptance as I can hope for from him.

When the decision was then made to keep him, it was time to give him a proper name. We couldn’t go on calling him “the kitten” forever. All six of us had ideas and names we liked. There were at least eight names on the list. It was a hard process to finally decide on “Butterscotch”. We know his name, even if he doesn’t yet.

I think he’s a lucky little bugger to come into this house of cat lovers. He will be loved and pampered all the rest of his days. I try to remind him daily of how lucky he is, yet he doesn’t seem to comprehend it fully.

I wonder if God looks upon me with the same mentality sometimes. There are times when I don’t exactly act all that appreciative that I have been adopted into His family. There weren’t even any hoops for me to jump through. God was willing to adopt me before He tamed me. He was willing to take me even in my spiritually unhealthy condition. I didn’t have to prove that I could get along with the other children in His family, either. And then He named me. That was easy. He calls me “Daughter”. No hoops. Just eyes opened to His love for me.

To be adopted into a family is really a significant thing. It’s a conscious decision to choose someone to be in your life, your family, forever. My children were born to me. They were gifts from a holy God. I chose to have them, but God chose them for me. I had little say in the matter. Adoptive families share a different kind of special.

Let’s wrap our minds around the concept that God chose us, adopted us into His family. If you are a new creature in Christ, then He did that. He chose you. The Bible teaches that we were dead in our sin. Dead people do not choose anything. They are dead. So Christ, while we were still dead in our sin, died so that we could live. He did that. For us. He left the plushiness of heaven to come and be born of a virgin, so that one day we would be adopted into his Father’s family and be brothers and sisters with him.

But when the time arrived that was set by God the Father, God sent his Son, born among us of a woman, born under the conditions of the law so that he might redeem those of us who have been kidnapped by the law. Thus we have been set free to experience our rightful heritage. You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, “Papa! Father!” Doesn’t that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child? And if you are a child, you’re also an heir, with complete access to the inheritance. Galatians 4:4-7

I remind my new kitten every day, as I pull him once again out of my Christmas tree, how lucky he is to be in our family. I point a scolding finger at his little pink nose, only to have him playfully bat it away. I accept his purrs and playfulness as thanks enough. But how much more do I need to be reminded how lucky I am to have been adopted into God’s family? Sadly, most days I take for granted this most precious gift.

This holiday season, amidst, all the holiday chaos, I hope to take some time to truly appreciate that Jesus came to Earth for me as a baby, lived a life for me, and gave that same life up for me so that one day His Father could adopt me as His sister. Seems Jesus was the one jumping through hoops for me, now doesn’t it?…

So what do you think?

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