I was a month old when I went to live with my family. As an infant, the only things on my mind were eating, sleeping and, well, pooping. I did not have to work my way into the family. I didn’t have to prove that I was worthy. I was just adopted and accepted because of that adoption as a McColm.
Maybe it is because I AM adopted in my physical life that my spiritual adoption, the idea of truly belonging to God’s family, resonates so deeply for me. Just as I didn’t have to “do” anything to be a dearly loved child in my physical family, I don’t have to do anything to be a dearly loved child in God’s family. Once I am saved by grace through faith, that’s it. I’m in!
Sometimes, I think we see salvation as some kind of eternal fire insurance. Yes, we are saved by grace, but then, the rest is up to us. But we aren’t just brought from death into life. We are given a brand new identity and family. God did not just bring us back from being dead in our sins, but He gave us a new life. Not only did He give us a new life, but He’s in it with us for the long haul. The Bible promises that He will continue His work in us until we draw our last breath or Christ returns.
I used to teach high school English and one of the books we read was Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (It’s hard to believe she was only a teenager when she wrote that – but I digress). Despite several movies to the contrary, the actual creature was not named Frankenstein. No, Frankenstein was the name of the man who created the creature. In the book, the creature does not even have a name. He is just a nameless monster running around without any guidance or direction.
The reason for this is because his creator – Victor Frankenstein is a wimpy guy who, when he saw his creation for the first time, ran screaming into the night. The poor creature goes lurching from one disaster to another until he comes to the conclusion that all humans are the monsters. Based on his experiences, you really can’t blame him.
So, while Dr. Frankenstein took what was dead and breathed new life into it, nobody could think that he regarded the creature as a part of his family. On the contrary, Victor Frankenstein is horrified by his creation, and sees him as the enemy to be annihilated, and so he pursues him to the ends of the earth to do just that.
What a different picture we are given of a God who raised us up from the dead and gave us new life. We aren’t left on our own to fend for ourselves. Instead, God invites us into His family. He gives us a new specific identity and privileges that only come from being a part of that family. He loves us and promises to work all things for our good (even when we don’t recognize it as good). He forgives us and helps us stand back up when we fall. He is the exact opposite of Victor Frankenstein.
I’m so glad when God saved me, He didn’t just set me adrift, but instead He allowed me to truly know Him and to learn about Him from His Word.
I’m so glad that my God is a God of relationship and that He invites me into intimate communion with Him. That’s a Father worth knowing!
How has being in God’s family changed you? I’d love to hear about it!