As I consider the concept of adoption, I realize there is a problem which seems to loom larger than life. What is your concept of a father?
When I was much younger, my family had a strong desire to adopt a child we had been fostering. Looking back on those times, I can see how the attitude of our natural father was so crucial to the desires of the entire family. Two things about our dad were deciding factors: 1.) his history of love and support for his own children, and 2.) his current love for, desire to help, and confidence that our family was THE family for this child we were fostering. Most of us were certain we could do this simply because Dad was in it for the long haul and was confident in the decision.
In pondering this, I get insight into a possible beginning for believers as they try to understand adoption into the family of God. In the book of Psalms, we find an insightful statement. His desire is to be a father to the fatherless. To have any understanding of that phrase at all, we must look at the history of how God has been with His people. Historically, He has been all we hope He will be. He has provided, loved, rescued, fought for, and always been consistent with His people. Yet, too often, our fallen thought patterns go to the other aspects of God. Since He is the Ruler of the Universe, there are decisions, actions, and even attributes that can strike terror in a human being – if, and only if, that human being considers themselves as not one of His people!
In the natural, when a child turns toward his/her father, the way that father is known begins to fill the awareness of all who watch. Love, delight, and warmth might fill the room. But, in some cases, fear, timidity, or oppression might begin to exude from the child. Whether spiritual or natural, our concept of a father is just as important as his attitude toward us.
Think about it for a moment. Who is your God? How is He known to you? If you haven’t embraced Him as Abba, Daddy, etc., are you still fatherless in your heart? Do you live with a God, but not an all-powerful Father?