Day 4 – Are You Adopted?

Ephesians 1:6–8

So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.

Consider This

Every word, phrase, sentence, paragraph, and page of Scripture abounds with revelation, which is to say it contains more substance and significance than we could ever extract from it. And yet we just keep moving on.

In some ways, for me, the Daily Text feels akin to that iconic scene from the old show, I Love Lucy, where Lucy and Ethel are tasked with putting wrappers on chocolate candies as they pass by on a conveyer belt. Like those chocolates, the texts just keep coming and I can’t keep up.

Take, for instance, the incomprehensibly comprehensive phrase from verse 3: every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms. It could serve as a banner over the entire letter because no sooner than he says it, Paul starts spinning them off with a velocity only matched by his alacrity. (Now there’s a good word.)

As an example, consider this blessing we didn’t even acknowledge from verse 5: God decided in advance to adopt us.

Wait! Did he just say I was adopted? I guess every adopted kid finds out sooner or later. With the blessing of adoption comes the agony of facing the curse of abandonment. With every layer of discovered blessing comes the awareness of a deeper bereftness. You see, adoption here is not a metaphor for our relationship with God. It’s a reality.

The cold, hard truth is God did not abandon us. We abandoned him, hiding in a forest of lies, covered in a cloak of impenetrable shame. And it remains our ingrained pattern to the present day. We aren’t bad, just broken. Here’s the deeper truth of adoption: we will discover our blessedness to the degree we face our brokenness. That’s where most all of us get stuck and why adoption is more of a concept we salute than a reality we savor.

Lately, I have enjoyed observing from afar a young family on Instagram. They recently adopted a girl who looks to be about ten years old. It’s stunning to see the way they are lavishing this girl with every possible blessing. She’s learning to dance and sing and, really, to be a child. They want to take her everywhere and show her everything. It’s like they want her to know that everything they are and have now belongs to her because she now belongs to them.

That’s what salvation is, not a one-time transaction in a ledger in the sky somewhere, but the unending full faith and credit of every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms crashing through the invisible barriers that separate us from God and each other, invading the old order with a newness that never loses its resplendent sheen.

The Prayer

Abba Father, we thank you for your Son, Jesus, who took on our brokenness and who would make it a thing of beauty if we would walk in this blessed way of the cross with him. I want to know this way. We pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

The Questions

Have you ever reflected on this notion of being blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms?

How do these concepts such as adoption and redemption become more than abstract concepts in our understanding?

What do you make of this connection between our experience of the blessing of adoption to our awareness of the curse of abandonment?