—by Kelby Kizer, CCC member
Have you ever felt alone? Do you sometimes feel like you don’t “belong” with whatever group you’re around, whether it is coworkers, roommates, neighbors, or at a social gathering? I’ve certainly felt that way before.
I imagine that an orphan can feel extreme loneliness and uncertainty of his or her identity. I’ve had the opportunity to witness family members work through the long adoption process to bring home their adoptive daughter from another country. I’ve witnessed them pressing on in faith through this process that is physically and financially hard, and emotionally painful. Watching them has given me a chance to witness a beautiful picture of the realities of our adoption by the Lord, through Christ.
An Orphan’s Identity
An orphan does not belong to the family, does not know his/her parents, and is powerless to change that. But Scripture says that though we were at one time “separated from Christ…and without God in the world,” yet now, “in Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:12-13)
An Orphan’s Inheritance
An orphan is not an heir and he does not have an inheritance. In some cases, they inherit the negative consequences of the parents’ decisions (e.g., abuse). Scripture describes the inheritance we had as non-Christians as being one of “alienation and hostility of mind” (Colossians 1:21). But now, in Christ, The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.” (Romans 8:16-17)
An Orphan’s Relationship
An orphan does not have a permanent relationship with her family. She is alone and without the community, love, and support of the family. But in Christ, “we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us…There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” (1 John 4:16a, 18a)
A Parent’s Pursuit
While watching my friends, it was immediately obvious that adoptive parents have to provide 100% of the initiative and cost to find and bring back their adoptive child. Without their initiative, this child would never have known them. I was encouraged to see how the Lord pursues us with the fervor of an adoptive parent, and pays a heavy price for our adoption!
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”—Galatians 4:4–6
In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.—Ephesians 1:5–6
While observing my family members work through the long, faith-filled adoption process I’ve been greatly encouraged in my walk with the Lord. My identity, inheritance, and relationship with God all depend upon God’s faithful pursuit of me in Christ. If any of you are struggling with loneliness or a sense of belonging, I hope that these truths will be an encouragement to you as they have been to me.