Transitioning to the new.
You can listen to today’s devotion by clicking on this SoundCloud link.
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”
Romans 8:15 New American Standard Bible
This verse has been familiar to me for years but in recent months the word adoption has become more personal.
In thinking about the five-year-old in China that we intend to add to our family, there is a side to adhttps://soundcloud.com/praying-with-the-eyes/adoptionoption that I had not considered. There is a heavy sense of loss in the process. He will lose everything familiar to him: his friends, culture, language, food, everything will change. We will do our best to make him feel at home and to preserve some familiarity, but nothing will look, taste or smell the same. Even the comfy new sheets will be unfamiliar.
In many ways our adoption by God is similar. There is a transition period into Christ’s righteousness, the new nature, His Kingdom. When we are adopted by God, we are taken from a familiar place and dropped into an unfamiliar one. The depth and difficulty of this transition is immense. We learn a new language, a new way of relating to God, ourselves, our community and our family … speaking of family, we even have to learn what that means.
This new place, even when it is better, is still disorienting. Just think about one aspect, our gracious Father. We are in a culture that thrives on the Survivor mentality, where rewards await those who can connive their way into outlasting everyone else. Even friends are expendable. But then we encounter this new place, where the One in charge says we ought to bless those who curse us because He has blessed us – even when we have cursed Him! That mentality will get a person thrown off the island first, but in this new place it is praised. I hope you can see how opposite this is. And the transition is so hard that it seems to be taking my whole life.
I still revert to operating as though I am an orphan. I operate under fear. I act like a slave rather than a son. But by God’s grace, perhaps the comfy new sheets will smell a little more like home tonight.
Copyright photo and text by David Brukiewa