With Orphan Sunday coming up this weekend, I wanted to talk a little bit about adopting ungrateful children. One would think that after investing so much into the lives of adopted children, the children could at the very least be grateful or appreciative for the gift of life in abundance given to them. Instead, they are oftentimes whiny and self-serving, unappreciative and even disrespectful and disobedient. Instead of asking what they can do to help the family to which they have been adopted into, they asked to be served and given more. "I want this, give me that, that's mine" can often be heard or implied. With each passing day the children take and take, being filled like gluttons, they distance themselves from the feeling and fulfillment they once had the day that they realized they had been adopted. What a joyous day that was!
The adopted children I am referring to are not Sporty and Sassy, our precious gifts from God. (Even though...gasp...they do act like children everywhere and sometimes forget to be grateful.) No, the children I am referring to are those (myself included) that have been adopted into the kingdom of God. Ephesians 1:5 states, "God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure." Yet, we often forget about what a gift it is to be adopted into his family what that gift means for how we should be living our lives. We see, we want, we take, we want more. How much more is enough? Will it ever be enough? I would like to suggest that there is nothing, NOTHING this world could offer you that will ever truly fulfill you. Sure, you may find fleeting pleasure and satisfaction through a new job, advanced degree, new car, a relationship, and/or new latest greatest tech device, but does it ever last? I think you already know the answer to that.
Isaiah 58:11 tells us, "The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring." Only in the Lord can one find true fulfillment. You can believe it or deny it, but it is the truth. Those of us (again, myself included) who have tried to find 'it' elsewhere before being rescued know this truth. We have the scars. I love, love, love our God. One who chooses to adopt ungrateful children not because of anything we have done or not done, but because that is how much he loves us. And because he adopted us into his family, we choose to share that gift wherever, whenever, and however possible.
One of the happiest days of Sporty's life was the day that his nannies at the transition home ran in to tell him that "Yes, you have a family. You have been adopted!" He shares that story and the deep joy it brought to him. He was no longer an orphan, he had been chosen, adopted into a family who would love, cherish, and care for him to the best of their abilities. That is exactly what God does for each one of us!
This Sunday, as we bring awareness to the millions of orphans around the world, please take some time and reflect on the extreme abundance that you have been blessed with. Think, pray, and reflect on how you may be able to use what you have been given to change, shape, and better the lives of those whom society has rejected and deemed not worthy. Because you know what? They are worthy.
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:37-40)
Orphan Sunday 2011 from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.