I identify as an orphan. That hasn’t always been the case, but with both my parents gone I now feel orphaned. Could be that’s why finding one’s family through genealogy searches has become so popular in recent years. We all want to know where we came from, where we fit in, where we belong and to whom we belong. Maybe exploring our genealogies is a part of our ongoing search for family. Families have been around from the very beginning. When God created mankind upon this earth, He created families.
“So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.’ ” (Genesis 1:27-28)
“Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib He had taken out of the man, and He brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.’ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:22-24)
“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him.” (Psalm 127:3)
We were created for connection – for community. We enjoyed perfect connection with our Creator and perfect connection with each other until sin entered in, severing that perfect connection, separating us from God and subsequently separating us from each other.
“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’ He answered, ‘I heard You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.’ ” (Genesis 3:8-10)
Sin severed Adam and Eve’s perfect connection with God. Instead of walking with God in the garden, they hid themselves from Him. They ran away from their Creator instead of running to Him. God desires personal connection with those He’s created. Consequently, He created us wired for that very connection. Sin brought us alienation and isolation, the opposite of what we were created to enjoy. Our loss of connection with God causes us to become disconnected from each other as well. It didn’t take long for sibling rivalry to rear its ugly head, fracturing the first family, when Cain murdered his brother Abel.
“Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering He did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.’ Now Cain said to his brother Abel, ‘Let’s go out to the field.’ And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.” (Genesis 4:2-8)
Sin, disconnection, jealousy ending in murder – families have been fractured ever since, the saga of Cain and Abel playing out over and over again throughout the years. And yet we are created to live our lives as part of a family, not in isolation. When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He instructed them to address God as,
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name,” (Matthew 6:9)
This realization that I am invited to call the Creator of the universe Father, is something truly too wonderful for words. In Romans chapter eight I am assured that this is indeed true –
“those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you (I) did not receive a spirit that makes you (me) a slave again to fear, but you (I) received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we (I) cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our (my) spirit that we are (I am) God’s children (child). Now if we are (I am) children (a child), then we are (I am) heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we (I) share in His sufferings in order that we (I) may also share in His glory.” (Romans 8:14-17)
Hard to believe I am chosen, adopted, made a child and therefore an heir of the living God. I am no longer an orphan! In 2 Corinthians 6:18 I read,
“I will be a Father to you, and you will be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” Then I read,
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! . . . Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as he is.” (1 John 3:1-2)
Not only am I not an orphan, I have been adopted into a really big family. Psalm 68:5-6 tells me,
“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, He leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.”
My favorite part of that promise is that God sets the lonely in families. He has invited me into His really big, eternal family and I already have a place there and I, as His child, will dwell in His house forever. (Psalm 23:6)
“For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He (Jesus) might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified.” (Romans 8:29-30)
This journey from unknown orphan to child of a Heavenly Father who knows my name and invites me into His family through adoption, is a joyous journey with a happy ending. Our earthly families were meant to be a foreshadowing of things to come, but they fall far short of showing us how purposefully, perfectly connected to others we were meant to live. (and one day we will) Our earthly fathers will fail us, (they are human) but our Heavenly Father does not disappoint, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations. (Deuteronomy 7:9)
Today many are searching for a forever family. I am connected to my Creator in a personal, eternal way – so much so that He says I can call Him “Abba” which means “Daddy.” Because of my adoption into my Heavenly Father’s family, I am also connected to other people personally and eternally. We are brothers and sisters now. We are brothers and sisters for eternity. We are family for life! Talk about your forever family – I have found mine!
Just imagine – so many siblings and yet no sibling rivalry. All those perfect connections that God intended for each one of us will be restored. I will be perfectly connected to my Creator and perfectly connected to all those who are adopted into this really big family just as I am. So many family members to get to know, most I will never meet on earth but only in heaven, because they lived far from me or lived in a different time altogether. It will take an eternity to get to know all the people in my new forever family. But that’s the gift of God – eternity with Him.
I am looking forward to homecoming, when I join my new forever family for good. It will happen like this –
“For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
I have found my forever family and you, too, dear readers are invited into this eternal family. I hope to see you there. Home with family – face to face and fully known.
“Now we see through a glass darkly, then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)
sincerely, Grace Day