Daddy’s Baby Girl
I had to walk away.
My heart could not cope with any more of what my eyes were seeing. A father was walking away from his beautiful little girl. He was leaving her… forever.
I have witnessed an array of both devastating and beautiful scenes since moving to Haiti 7 short weeks ago. Amidst the beauty of this small tropical island are scenes like this one that have moved me to such tears and powerful emotions that I had to physically remove myself from the situation. Our eyes tend to glaze over when we hear statistics about the needy and vulnerable in the world: for example the roughly 147 million orphans who have no one to call mommy or daddy. Personally witnessing the process of a child becoming an orphan, however, peeled back the glaze and magnified the reality of the statistics so intensely that my eyes were forced to look away. It was so real that my heart physically ached.
I can’t help but wonder if this is how God feels when we wander aimlessly, failing to see Him as our Father. His heart breaks when, instead of submitting to Him as our father figure, we choose to be orphans. Our creator lovingly made us with the desire that we would one day ALL look to Him as our Father. 1 Timothy 2:3-4 says that He is “…God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” “He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will…” (Ephesians 1:5)
It must break His heart when we seek pleasure and fulfillment in worldly things that ultimately hurt us when we should seek Him instead. We need a father to look to for guidance, correction, and discipline. Children without these things grow up to be immature, self-centered, reckless, and unaware of the negative consequences of their actions.
The same occurs when we fail to look to our Father as we walk through daily life. We are focused on our selfish desires; we live life our own way, and then repeatedly suffer the painful consequences as we fail to see that our way is infinitely inferior to His.
The good news is that, like the little girl I witnessed being abandoned, we have the opportunity to be adopted. Adopted by God Himself.
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” (1 John 3:1)
How does this happen?
Galatians 4:4-7 states that “…when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.”
God sent His son so that we might be adopted as His children.
Adoption is expensive. The cost is actually a predominant reason that many couples forego adoption altogether. This, however, should not stop us, as it did not stop God. On this point, Tony Merida and Rick Morton make a great illustration in their book Orphanology. “While it costs us a lot to adopt children, it cost God the blood of His own Son. It cost Christ to give up His whole life in obedience to the Father. Christ, the one who ‘endured the cross’ (Hebrews 12:1-2) came to redeem us and make us part of the family.”
The gift of sonship was very expensive for God to make possible, but it is a free gift to us.
It can be scary to step away from our comforts and into new life, but the greatest life we could ever experience is one that we could never have imagined ourselves. We just have to trust Him. In his book Adopted for Life, Russell Moore shares the experience of taking his sons home from the orphanage for the first time. Instead of leaving with happy children who were excited for the new life ahead, they were terrified. They were leaving the only life they knew. He states, “The trauma of leaving the orphanage was unexpected to me because I knew how much better these boys’ life would soon be. I thought they knew too. But they had no idea. They couldn’t conceive of anything other than the status quo. My whispering to my boys, “You won’t miss that orphanage” is only a shadow of something I should have known already. Our Father tells us that we too are unable to grasp what’s waiting for us – and how glorious it really is. It’s hard for us to long for an inheritance to come, a harmonious Christ-ruled universe, when we’ve never seen anything like it.”
Why should we ever choose to be orphans over sons and daughters of God?!
Much like our opportunity to have a happy ending with God as our Father, the story I shared in the beginning of this blog also has a happy ending. By the grace of God through the ministry of myLIFEspeaks, this two-year-old beauty named Chrisnerline did not remain an orphan. She has been adopted into the myLIFEspeaks family and now has a mom, a dad, siblings, and others constantly providing a structured home complete with love, correction, and discipline.
That morning, my heart wept as her biological dad said his final goodbyes. But that same evening, I witnessed Chrisnerline’s adoptive father bounding through the gate of our house with his little girl on his shoulder. He had always wanted a little girl. His face was glowing and his smile was contagious. He bounced her up and down, praising God and singing, “Daddy’s baby girl… daddy’s baby girl.”
Can you imagine the joy God feels when we become His children?!
Since becoming a child of God myself several years ago, I can’t imagine life without Him. Before I knew Him as my Father, I clung tightly to the only life I knew, having no idea what He had in store for me. Just like the two adopted boys reaching back for the orphanage, it took a long time for me to let go of the hell that was my life and trust Him as my Father to give me a new life… but I am so thankful for His grace to pull me through that time and into the life He wanted for me. Now, I live each day with joy, knowing that I have a loving Father who will one day scoop me up, put me on His shoulder, and sing praises over my life because I am “daddy’s baby girl.”
For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.