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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Father by Choice

I could not see his face. As we wrapped up our meeting around the long, dark conference table, the older gentlemen rested in the back of his chair. He was clothed in a worn t-shirt with no sleeves and an old pair of jeans, with a gold chain sporting a cross just above his chest.

The meeting was over, but we were all waiting for one of the attendants to return with a form for us to sign. The meeting was at the local elementary school, and the gentleman was a foster dad.

He had stopped his work of farming in his fields to be present for the meeting regarding his foster son.

This meeting was scheduled to discuss the seven-year-old boy’s educational needs because he was new to the school. This particular gathering was routine, but the presence of this foster dad in the boy’s life was not.

The gentleman and his wife had become his foster parents less than a month before. As I sat near him, with his silhouette in my view, he answered questions from across the table.

“Do you plan to adopt him?” asked the teacher.

The foster dad replied, “You know, he’s had a hard life. I want to do everything I can to help him. And if I can, I’d really like to adopt him as my son.”

I listened in bewilderment as this older man proclaimed his love for a young boy whom he was just getting to know. He accepted this child into his home without knowing him, and as he explained to us, he was willing to do whatever he could to protect him and love him as his own flesh and blood. It was obvious that he loved his foster son deeply, regardless of the boy’s response, actions, or future circumstances.

Scripture 1 John 3:1 (NIV) says, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”

Before we knew the Father, He formed us and knew us, and He loves us deeply. We make mistakes, fail to use wisdom, and rely on our own understanding.  

Proverbs 3:12 (NIV) tells us, “…the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.”

As I listened to this gentleman speak about his foster son, I realized that this young boy brings him delight. How much more do we, as children of God, bring delight to our heavenly Father?

Being in the foster care system, the future of this young boy is uncertain. To his foster dad, it makes no difference. Our future appears to be uncertain to us, but to our Abba Father, it is clear. He gives us a glimpse in Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV): “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Copyright © 11/1/2016 Courtney Johnson. Used by permission.

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