About a year ago my wife and I adopted two cats. Which, in my opinion, is stupid for at least two reasons.
First, they are cats. I haven’t checked the Hebrew of Genesis 3 but I think that somewhere in there it is implied that a cat is what convinced the serpent to deceive the first couple. I can’t prove that though.
Secondly, is it really adoption? I’m not raising these cats as my own children. They are cats. Though they might both occasionally poop on the floor the similarities mostly stop there. I won’t be buying clothes for the cats, I won’t shed a tear if they escape the house at night—in fact I encourage it, and I won’t put my children’s offspring in a box at Wal-Mart that says free to a good home.
Yet no matter how stupid the wording is, my wife and I have a paper that says we have adopted Alley-Cat and Sally-Cat. They were only six weeks old when we took them into our home. They were sisters from a litter of five other cats. As we picked these cats we tried to predict their future. Would they be prideful and stuck up, like most other cats? Would they be mean and twitchy? Would they play with our kids well?
As we looked over these five cats we decided upon Alley (who seemed ornery but cute) and Sally (who seemed a tad depressed but needy). We figured these cats would be decent pets. We convinced the folks at the humane society to give us a buy-one-get-one-free deal, and we took these cats home.
I’ve been giving some thought to the Lord’s adoption of us. It’s nothing like our “adoption” of these cats.
For one, he does intend to make us full-fledged children. “We are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ”. This is astounding. To truly reflect this we would need to build a new room for the cats, give them their own beds, clothes, and the same amount of love and affection that we give to our children. They’d become more than cats. (Which I’m not going to do, by the way).
Secondly, unlike my wife and I, God is able to see our entire history. He knows all the times we are going to poop on the floor, scratch a kid in the face, pridefully ignore him, and think that we are more awesome than everyone else in the house. He knows every sin that we have committed, are committing, and will commit. And He—unlike us—feels the full weight of our treason.
If we had a crystal ball when we were trying to decide between these five cats, I know exactly how I would have chosen them. I would have chosen the good cats. Not these evil hell-spawns that we have residing in our house at present. Truth be told, I probably would have gotten a dog and had enough fodder from our crystal ball to convince my wife of the same.
This is not the case with the Lord.
I can’t fathom that He looks at all of my darkness—past, present, future—and says, “I’ll redeem that one”. Seriously? He knows all of my rebellion. All of the times that I’ve forsaken Him. All of the times that I’ve botched living the Christian life. The coldness of my love. The depth of my occasional doubt. The foolishness of my thinking and living. All of it. And he says, “I want this one”.
Feast on this from Matt Chandler: