My son, Ryan, is a software engineer in Atlanta. He grew up on the farm with lots of animals. In addition to horses, cows, goats, and chickens, he's always had a dog. After years of living in student housing and "no pet" apartments, he now lives in an apartment that allows pets. For a price.
When I was in Atlanta for my birthday, Ryan talked about getting a dog. We went to Piedmont Park and he commented on every dog that passed. Too large. Too small. Too much hair. Too much grooming. The medium-sized black dogs caught his attention.
From the conversation, I knew he'd have a dog soon.
The day I left, he and his girlfriend, Hannah, were headed to the grocery store. In passing, he said, "We might go visit the pound."
They went there first.
A few hours later, Hannah texted me. "I think Ryan found a dog!" She was right. After considerable paperwork, during which he agreed not to eat his new dog, Ryan adopted Bento.
He didn't start out as Bento. His original name was Milo, but it didn't suit him. After considering hundreds of names, Ryan chose Bento, which is a style of Japanese food that is "cute and comes in a small box". His name fits him now.
Bento had been adopted once before but was returned to the shelter because the owner didn't have time for him, and because he thought Bento was stubborn and had too much energy.
Energy and stubbornness didn't bother Ryan. He spent years teaching cranky cows and goats to do what he wanted in the show ring. He can handle a stubborn animal.
Bento now has a permanent home where he doesn't have to worry about being rejected or abandoned. He's been adopted by a loving, faithful owner.
As I've thought about Bento's rejection by his original owner and his new adoption by Ryan, I was reminded of our own adoption.
We were readily adopted by the world and the enemy of our soul, but the world is a precarious, unreliable home, and the enemy of our soul is an unfaithful owner. He leads us into trouble, but he leaves us there, instead of helping us to find our way through.
We needed a "forever home", and, through the work of Christ, we can have one.
We, who are the most stubborn of all God's creatures, who are the most energetic at getting ourselves into more sin than we can get ourselves out of, have (as disciples of Christ) been adopted as sons and daughters by God Himself. He's not afraid of our stubbornness or our energy. He can handle it, because He's seen it all before.
"For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" Romans 8:15 nasb
As children of God, we share in all the blessings of His son, Jesus. We share in the forever home of God in heaven. We share in His love, His tender care, His discipline, His companionship.
We've been adopted by One who will never leave us. Never forsake us. Never "turn us back in" because of our propensity for sin.
He loves us. He wants us. He holds us in his no-slip grip, and we are His. Forever.
Today, let's thank God for our adoption as sons and daughters. We are children of the King, so let us live to honor and obey our Father, the One who took us in and will never let us go.
~~~~~~~~~~~~If you're participating in the Hosea study, the second lesson is posted on the website. and the link is below. It's a lot of work, but it'll be worth it in the end. God bless your efforts.
Here's the link to Chapter 2 of the Hosea Bible study (http://lessonsindiscipleship.blogspot.com/2016/05/hosea-chapter-2-entire-chapter.html)
Here's the link to yesterday's post: The Beginning of Fruit (http://leannahollis.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-beginning-of-fruit.html)