Friday, February 17, 2012

Word Thoughts

As our family has stepped out in faith on a long-awaited journey to adopt, I've been challenged to think about what that word means. Words are funny in this way. You can say a word to ten people and those ten people may have ten different things that they thought of when you said that word. Our experiences can range so widely when it comes to what we think and understand.

I've been challenged to think of the word adoption differently. For me, I first have always thought of my own adoption into my family, the blessings that have come from it, and the hope for it shaping my family more. I think that I need to think of the word differently. I've been thinking of it in a very temporal sense. I need to first think of it in an eternal sense.

I'm finding that being adopted in Christ takes precedence over all other associations with that word. As valuable as earthly adoption is, my adoption as a child of God is at the very core of my existence. When I think of that word, I want to think of the gospel first, and then earthly adoption second. My hope is that the church can become so saturated with this key doctrine and understanding of the gospel and our identity in Christ that we think gospel first, earthly adoption second.

The word isn't in Scripture all that much, but the concept is. Over and over we read of old self, old life and being brought into new life in Christ. We are found in Christ. We are joint heirs with Christ. Our father becomes God the Father. We are part of one body, one family in Christ. All of these things point to being adopted, grafted in, redeemed, taken from one place and brought to another, given a new identity, being born again. It's all summed up in that one word: adoption.

This is my new challenge, and maybe you'll be challenged as well. I want to search the Scriptures and look for all the ways that doctrine pops up. I can think of so many just off the top of my head! (You can read the verbiage in the previous paragraph!)

Even as my family pursues earthly adoption, I don't want just my family to grow, but I want my perception to grow. I want to think of who I am in Christ first, and then all other things second. When I hear that word, that precious, grace-filled, hope-saturated word, I want to think of how I am bought with a price, and that I am not longer who I was before I was saved, but I am the Lord's. I am his child.

I'll take it.

I won't say much about the fizzle at the end of the year. I can make excuses and such. I can feel guilty about not posting, but I won't. I think for a high goal as I had, and with the stage of life that I'm in, I can be proud of what I did accomplish as I sought to give God glory every day. Whether I wrote about it or not, a habit has been instilled in my heart to always seek out his glory and find his grace even when circumstances seem dark or my heart is far removed from its first love. Rejoicing in God's grace isn't a thing to do if I feel like it, it is a standard commanded and to be fought for. It isn't easy at times in this finite world to have faith in the infinite.

If that's the only thing (and it's not) that I can take from my personal challenge in 2011, then it is worth it. With all the bumps and bruises, failures and triumphs, and many, many moments of humility, I think God used it as a fire to refine me more.

I'll take it.