Week 9: The New Testament and Adoption
Day 2: The Waiting of Adoption – Romans 8:22-25; 35-39
I am not an adoptive parent, though there have been many occasions on which I wished I could be. But I have watched others go through the process. It can take months, even years. And all the while, just like a couple expecting their own baby, the family waits with anticipation. Once things are set in motion, the waiting is also set in motion. They fill out paperwork. And they wait. They start their home study. And they wait. They fill out more paper work. And they wait. They complete their home study. And they wait. If they are adopting internationally, they may travel to that country, meet the child and return home…and wait.
But I have been privileged to see the other side as well. You see, the parents aren’t the only ones waiting. The child is waiting too. Just like the parents, their hearts rise and fall with the swelling drama of the adoption process. Soon they will belong. No, the law changed, they will have to wait. Soon they will come. No, the court date was changed. On and on, always looking forward to that day…always waiting.
Even in this patience-testing aspect of the adoption process we have a picture of our redemption. Romans 8:22,23 says, “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.”
The creation is under sin’s curse every bit as much as we are. The Bible says that it groans for the day that it will be delivered. We too are waiting. We already have a new Father, but we are waiting for that day when we will see Him face to face.
Here again we are reminded of the work of the Holy Spirit in our redemption and adoption. He is the seal. Ephesians 1:14 hints at His part in this waiting, “Which is the EARNEST of our inheritance UNTIL the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”
When we are saved we are not instantly, physically in the presence of God. While we have all of the other benefits of sonship, including an inheritance in and with Christ, we still lack this one thing. Our hearts yearn for it.
Fanny Crosby, who was blind from the time she was six weeks old, authored the hymn “My Savior First Of All” in which she wrote:
Oh, the soul thrilling rapture when I view His blessed face,
And the luster of His kindly beaming eye;
How my full heart will praise Him for the mercy, love and grace
That prepare for me a mansion in the sky.
I shall know Him, I shall know Him,
And redeemed by His side I shall stand,
I shall know Him, I shall know Him
By the print of the nails in His hand.
Can you imagine the joy of having been blind all your life and suddenly being able to see! And not only that but of seeing Jesus first of all! How well she expressed that longing, that yearning to see Him as we wait for the redemption of our bodies.
Romans 8:24,25 go on to say, “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”
Just as that child waits and hopes for the day when they will be untied with their parents, we wait and hope for the day we will be united with God our Heavenly Father. Biblical hope is not that foundationless hope of the world. It’s not the desire of a child for an ice cream sundae when mom and dad haven’t the slightest inclination towards such a thing. It is a confident, joyful anticipation based on the fact that God will keep His promises. We may not see it, but we know that He will do it.
Sometimes in this world, the adoption process fails. Sometimes a child that was supposed to be united with a new family is disappointed, crushed by the sudden realization that for some unforeseeable reason the adoption will not take place. With God, that is never the case. We have already been fully adopted; nothing can change that. We’re just waiting for that final trip to bring us into His presence for all of eternity.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? …Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39
For More Information on FTN, Check out our website at: www.forbidthemnot.com
Follow us on Twitter @forbidthemnot or Facebook
Also Check out Rachel Miller’s Book: The King’s Daughter: A Story of Redemption