The God who calls us Children

Being a parent is not what I expected. Now I have no idea what it feels like to be a Mom. I am married to the most amazing mom I know and that includes a stadium full of moms. And while I can recognize and stand amazed at mothers, I cannot be one.

So I am a dad. And we have two children who bring to us in the same moment more joy and fear and frustration than I ever imagined. I never knew how much my parents loved me until I had children of my own. How could I? And I never knew the depth of a father's love for his children. Nor did I have the knowledge of how deep is my own brokenness and how deeply rooted the sin within me. Children bring those things to the surface. By their transparency I too am revealed.

God calls Himself our Father and He did not do that on accident. I understand that God is Spirit and therefore not a man as is Jesus. And yet He thought it best to call Himself our Father. He tells us in John 1: 12 , "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God."

The right to become children of God. Jesus gives us this right. It's not one I can claim originated with me but it is as sure as my very life (far surer) a truth I can claim. I am a child of God. BabyM is a child of mine. No matter what occurs during her life here on planet earth or in eternity, she will always be my daughter. I may die. She may die. But she will remain my child forever. It was not her choice to become. It was mine and Jenny's (of human decision or a husband's will, says the verse). And yet there is an identity which surpasses even that. An identity which cannot be tarnished or manipulated or counseled out of someone.

There are lots of religions out there. Lots of beliefs or un-beliefs. And yet only one has a Father who loves us enough to call us His children and then send His only son to die so that we could have the right to be called sons and daughters of God. How great a price to pay to adopt rebellious kids. How little I understand the love which caused that. How even less I demonstrate it to my own children.

When I need to know how to love my children I have the model right in front of me, indwelling me and shepherding me. When I look at the picture of my daughter I don't' see guacamole staining her clothes or whatever else that is matted in her eyebrows. I see her eyes. Her mother's eyes. I see something of myself. Even my temper. And yet when God looks to His children He too sees something of Himself for we are made in His image. And He sees us for what we are. He sees through our shell games and excuses. He sees through our fears and worries. He sees through our arrogance and stupidity to the child beneath. He sees through the guacamole and matted hair to the Child He loves. And He calls us His own.

My identity is not on my passport. Not on my drivers license or paycheck or house note. It is in the God who calls me His son. Who sees me as I am and loves me anyway. And who wants to make me like Jesus, His only begotten son. He has a lot of work to do, doesn't He? But do it He will. Because that's what fathers do for their children.

More than I ever expected.


brian said...

This, sir, is a truly excellent post. I'm grateful I got to read it this evening, and more grateful to call you my brother.

A nice big chunk of stuff for me to chew on tonight now that the house is quiet. Thanks.

Brandon and Jenny said...

Thank you, brother Brian. How cool is it that we can call each other brother and it really means something?

Thank you for your encouragement. You'll get less quiet time in a few weeks here. ;-)

Mike Messerli said...

I agree wtih Brian, great post. thanks. I pray all is going well for you. How can we pray for you in the new year?

Brandon and Jenny said...

Thanks, Mike.

All is going well. Please pray that our love for the Lord would deepen and that we would teach our children who He is. Pray that I could form deep and meaningful connections with the people I will serve here. I guess there's more but that will work for now.

Thank you for asking.