a message from Ken…
Now this is going to be just between you and me, but don’t you sometimes get a little tired of the typical grandparent’s desire to show you pictures of their grandchild all of the time? I’ve always said that when I become a grandparent, I will not do that to people. I won’t subject friends and relatives to the labor of having to look at another picture of a “bald-headed, chubby” photo of a grandchild. I mean, here’s what we’re so proud of: can’t talk, can’t walk, and can’t take care of themselves, usually physically out of proportion, can’t feed themselves. Believe me, I’m sensitive of overwhelming people with pictures and talk of grandchildren, I really am! And I’m making a promise to be careful, thoughtful and not do that to people, but…. well, on May 27th Jane and I became grandparents for the first time. And, so all that stuff about not showing pictures, well, I’m going to do it just this one time, if that’s OK. Here’s Parker Jackson Miles.
Actually, there’s something special to talk about with this grandchild. Parker’s adopted. Our daughter and son-in-law were with the birth mother on his “birth-day” and Parker became a member of our family that same day. Adoption is such a blessing, in this case, a blessing for the birth mother and her family, providing a safe and loving home for him that the birth mother could not do at this time. And, our family is given a gift of a little boy that was not possible before. We get the word for adoption from the Bible text. It means setting or placing a child in a family, and it closely symbolizes the Father adopting us as “children of God”. The adopter predestines adoption. It happened in our daughter and son-in-law’s heart long before it manifested in the real world. God, having a “Father’s heart”, has predetermined to love us. It was in His heart to love us long before we were born. (We were predetermined for adoption: “Having predestined us into the adoption of children by Christ Jesus…according to the good pleasure of His Will”) Parker Jackson Miles adoption was preceded with hope and happened with great joy. So was our adoption by the Father.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed lately, but Ronald Reagan’s adopted child, Michael and his birth child, Ron Jr. have been in the news frequently after their father’s death. What’s interesting to me is that Michael Reagan “reflects” more of his father’s image and views than does his birth son, Ron. The adopted is more like the parent than the natural born is like the parent. However, that’s the pattern shown to us in the Word of God. Natural birth doesn’t make us “like Dad”. A Spiritual adoption makes us like the Father. We are “children of God”. (“And, if children then heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ…” That adoption “sets” us in a position of “first-born” referred to as the “Church of the first-born” (Hebrews 12:23) and first-born has its benefits (love, care, gifts and supply). A staggering thought to our imagination but true: each being freely taken in by the Creator of the universe as a first-born jointly with Christ!
That’s what happened to Parker Jackson Miles. Accepted. Part of the family. Made just as a birth-son with all the love, care, gifts and supply as any birth child. If you were at the Mark Schultz concert you heard him talk about being adopted. Privately, Mark will tell you of a wonderful mother and father. He will tell you how they took him in and how they loved him with a love unmatched by any other relationship. (He does not know his birth mother or father) Mark wrote a song entitled “You Are A Child Of Mine”…
“And, like a father You are near, and as I listen I can hear You say: You are a child of Mine, born of My own design, And you bear the heart of life no matter where you go, Oh, you will always know you have been made free in Christ, And so I listen as You tell me who I am and who it is I’m going to be, And I hang on every word, knowing I have heard I am Yours and I am free…If I listen I can hear You say: ‘I am calling, I am calling, (For) you are a child of Mine, born of my own design.’ “
We are His children and we can get just a glimmer of how that must make Him feel about us. I remember looking over the crib at each of our 3 daughters and being overwhelmed by the acceptance we immediately had for each. We didn’t go through a process of: “well I don’t like this or not happy with that”. No, they were “keepers” just because we had predetermined to love each without condition long before they manifested in our lives. The crying, sleepless nights, and dirty diapers didn’t discourage us from that determination. It was just a natural response for having them as a part of our family. We’ve had the chance over the last 8 weeks to experience something again that I would describe as a “phenomenon”. All our time is spent looking at, playing with, hoping for, and imagining the future of Parker. What makes us do that? I find myself asking, “why are we all sitting in the middle of the living room watching this “kid” do nothing but smile, coo and suck on his hand”. In our human way we are “taken-in” by this life we’ve chosen to love. Can you imagine how God, who is the highest expression of “Father”, must feel about His kids?
Jane and I love our children more than they love us. Now I don’t say that to be mean to them, I just think it’s a universal truth, something that we, and they, can’t help. The very nature of “creation” obligates us to a new revelation and awareness of “a Father’s Love”. Oh, they often say they love us, and they may think they love us more than we love them, but it’s simply not possible. There’s an unconditional love that parent’s experience that cannot be experienced any other way than being parents. I love my mother and father as much as is humanly possible, but that love is challenged by my mother and father’s love for their three children. God loves us a thousand times more than we can love Him. Paul said, “In this is love; not that we loved God, but that He loved us.” God has fixed His love on us, loving us with an “everlasting love” as we read in Jeremiah. A mother or father’s love is such that there is nothing you would not do for you child that is for their good. However, we can only be amazed that a parent’s love doesn’t compare to the love God has fixed on us. God’s love is unconditional, without strings.
At his adoption, Parker got a name, got a birth-right inheritance, got his father and mother’s blessing, a place to live, a supply to meet his needs, a covenant with each family member, a spiritual blessing from his parents, and protection from enemies. Parker got a home and unconditional love. If as earthly creatures we do that naturally, can we imagine how easy that is for the Heavenly! God can’t help Himself. He loved us first, and He loves us more!