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
Sometimes, not always, but sometimes things are the exact opposite of what they should be.
As evidence, I share the story of a couple from Ohio. Nine years ago this couple adopted a child who was an infant. For nine years those two were the most important people in that child's life. They were mother and father, the source of love and discipline, of security and stability. For nine years they were given a wonderful opportunity to shape the present and future of that young boy.
Apparently, after nine years, those days are over.
On October 24th the lad's parents showed up at the local welfare office and said they were returning their adopted son. The mother added that the lad had grown increasingly hostile to them and had even threatened the family with a knife. According to the adoption people, returning a child is not something adoptive parents are allowed to do.
A prosecutor in that state has agreed. He says there are legal consequences to the parents' action and he is prepared to charge the couple with child abandonment.
So those are the facts.
Like I said, there are times when things are the opposite of what they should be. It is the boy, not the parents, who should be going to the authorities. It is the boy, not the parents, who should be requesting a new start. After all, if his present parents have allowed him to go that far astray in the nine years that they have had him, then something wasn't done rightly.
The same can be said in humanity's relationship with the Lord.
Listen carefully and you will hear people talk about how unfair God is, how capricious, how untrustworthy and unreliable He is. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Truly, it is God who ought to be complaining about us. It is the Lord who ought to be saying, "I've had enough. Those folks on earth are a rebellious, unrepentant, disobedient, ungrateful group. I don't want them. I don't need them. I'm going to walk away and forget about them."
But that doesn't happen, does it?
What does happen is this: God loves us and decides -- without any motivating or prompting on our parts -- to set into motion a plan to save us. Although that plan's fulfillment is free to us, it is costly to Him. So that we might be forgiven He sent His only Son into this world to be our Substitute. It was a mission which was completed when Jesus, carrying our sins, died on the cross.
His resurrection from the dead three days later is unassailable proof the Lord hasn't given up on us and hasn't turned away from us. It is a proof which ought to bring about thankful hearts and appreciative lives.
And that's the way it ought to be.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, open my eyes and heart so I may see the wonders of Your grace which has been given in Jesus. Then, having seen, may all I say and do show my appreciation. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries