5God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 6So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. 7He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. 8He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
The particular illustration I used was an attempt to illustrate how being adopted into God’s family entitles us to untold riches in His grace. It came from a book titled Practice Resurrection that was written by Eugene Peterson.
Though now retired, Dr. Peterson was for many years the James M. Houston Professor of Spiritual Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. In addition, he also served as founding pastor of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, Maryland. Although best known for his widely acclaimed paraphrase of the Bible titled The Message, he has written over thirty other books as well.
Given that so many people commented on the story and/or requested its origin, I thought it best to re-post it here today along with its original source. The story as related by Dr. Peterson reads thus:
Fred and Cheryl went to Haiti 25 years ago to pick up a child they had adopted. Addie was five-years-old. Her parents had been killed in a traffic accident that left her without a family. As she walked across the tarmac to board the plane, the tiny orphan reached up and slipped her hands into the hands of her new parents whom she had just met. Later they told us of this "birth" moment, how the innocent, fearless trust expressed in that physical act of grasping their hands seemed almost as miraculous as the times their two sons slipped out of the birth canal 15 and 13 years earlier.
That evening, back home in Arizona, they sat down to their first supper together with their new daughter. There was a platter of pork chops and a bowl of mashed potatoes on the table. After the first serving, the two teenage boys kept refilling their plates. Soon the pork chops had disappeared and the potatoes were gone. Addie had never seen so much food on one table in her whole life. Her eyes were big as she watched her new brothers, Thatcher and Graham, satisfy their ravenous teenage appetites.
Fred and Cheryl noticed that Addie had become very quiet and realized that something was wrong—agitation … bewilderment … insecurity? Cheryl guessed that it was the disappearing food. She suspected that because Addie had grown up hungry, when food was gone from the table she might be thinking that it would be a day or more before there was more to eat. Cheryl had guessed right. She took Addie's hand and led her to the bread drawer and pulled it out, showing her a back-up of three loaves. She took her to the refrigerator, opened the door, and showed her the bottles of milk and orange juice, the fresh vegetables, jars of jelly and jam and peanut butter, a carton of eggs, and a package of bacon.
She took her to the pantry with its bins of potatoes, onions, and squash, and the shelves of canned goods—tomatoes and peaches and pickles. She opened the freezer and showed Addie three or four chickens, a few packages of fish, and two cartons of ice cream. All the time she was reassuring Addie that there was lots of food in the house, that no matter how much Thatcher and Graham ate and how fast they ate it, there was a lot more where that came from. She would never go hungry again.
Cheryl didn't just tell her that she would never go hungry again. She showed her what was in those drawers and behind those doors, named the meats and vegetables, placed them in her hands. It was enough. Food was there, whether she could see it or not. Her brothers were no longer rivals at the table. She was home. She would never go hungry again.
What a picture of what God has done for us in Jesus Christ! He has adopted us into His family and He now meets our every need - beyond our wildest dreams! All His riches and all His fullness provided for us as His children! What mercy! What grace! What love! All for us!
SCRIPTURE SOURCE: https://biblehub.com/nlt/ephesians/1.htm.
STORY SOURCE: Eugene Peterson, Practice Resurrection: A Conversation on Growing Up in Christ (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2010), pp. 159-160.
SEE ALSO: https://www.regent-college.edu/faculty/retired/eugene-peterson.