July 2, 2008
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the Law, to redeem those who were under the Law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. Galatians 4:4-5
There are devotions difficult to write. This is one of them.
It is hard because I cannot begin to understand the feelings going through the hearts and minds of the people whose story I will tell.
Nuraini is a mother in Indonesia. She is a mother who, last month, dropped her 11-year-old son, Ahri, off at an orphanage in Jakarta. Understand, Ahri is not an orphan. Both his parents are alive. He has been given to strangers because his parents can't afford to feed and teach him. With both parents working, the household income is only two to three dollars a day.
That is a tragic story.
Even more tragic is that 80 percent of the children in these Indonesian orphanages have been dropped off by their still-living mothers and fathers.
Ahri's mother's heart ached as she tried to convince herself she was doing the right thing. "I am not throwing my child away," she said. Ahri's father tried to be manly when he added: "If my son can adapt, then I am happy... it's calm and peaceful here." As for Ahri's grandmother, she hugged the boy closely, and whispered in his ear: "Be tough. I am sorry you have to go."
There are many things about Ahri's story that are painful. Although many people we know have financial difficulties, most of us aren't acquainted with anyone who is so desperate they feel compelled to give up one of their children. May God spare us such a moment.
Hardest of all is hearing of parents who believe adopting one of their children is the right, the best thing to do.
When I wrote that line about a parent giving up a child, the words of this devotion's text jumped into my mind. "But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the Law, to redeem those who were under the Law, so that we might receive adoption as sons."
Ahri's family has given him up because they believe it is for his good. Our heavenly Father gave up His only Son because He knew it was for our good. Ahri's family thought their actions would give him a better life. Our heavenly Father knew He was sending His Son to His death. If we are overwhelmed by the love and sacrifice of Ahri's parents - - how much more should we be awed by the love of a Father who would allow His Son to live, suffer, and die for someone else?
My friends, Ahri's story reminds me we are beneficiaries of a grace beyond our comprehension.
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, for having a love I cannot understand and making a sacrifice I seldom think about, my deepest thanks. May I always praise You and Your Son, for doing what was necessary so I might be adopted into Your family. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries