Romans 8:22-23 says, "We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons."
Once I asked the Lord, "I know your Word says elsewhere that we're sons and daughters already. So why all the groaning? What are we waiting for?"
He responded, "You know those orphaned children you take home with you?"
"They have to want to come. Some want to. Some don't know the opportunity is available to them. But others, even though they know they're welcome in the house, prefer to stay outside."
As Christians, we're like those children. We're all welcome to move in the authority of sons and daughters, living in the realm of glory, seated with Christ in heavenly places. But we must want to come.
We must make that choice, even if it involves suffering.
If we choose to stay outside, I believe it's only because we don't understand how wonderful our God is. We don't understand His love for us.
First John 3:1-2 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! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is."
The Language of Love
Let me give you a picture of the love of God. One Christmas I was giving out presents to the children in our ministry. Throughout the year I'd bought up presents here and there and saved them to give out on this special day.
I also invited all the street children and other children from the village to come and receive a present. Literally hundreds of children showed up.
As I sat on a grass mat and prepared to hand out the gifts, the Lord said, "Look in their eyes."
So I did. As I handed each child a present, I looked him directly in the eyes.
I started with the street kids, the prostitutes and the town alcoholics. I looked each one in the eyes and handed him clothes and toys and beads and other fun items.
Finally it was time to give gifts to our own children—the ones from our orphanage.
"Heidi, there are only stuffed dogs left in the bag," whispered Bridgett, a woman who was working with us.
"Yes," Bridgett said. "Used stuffed dogs."
While Bridgett looked again into the bag of old stuffed animals, I looked into the eyes of the children.
"What would you like?" I asked the first little girl in line.
"Beads," she said.
Bridgett was beside herself. "Heidi, I told you, we have only stuffed dogs!"
"Look in the bag," I said to Bridgett.
Bridgett opened the bag.
"There are beads in the bag!" she cried.
That's our God! There's nothing He can't or won't do for those who believe--for those who step into their places as sons and daughters of God.
Jesus never doubted His Father for a moment. When Jesus took the bread and fish in His hands (Matt. 14:19), He knew, without question, that as He gave thanks to the Father, there would be enough to feed the multitudes.
He didn't look at the five loaves and the two fish. He looked into the eyes of the hungry, and He looked into His Father's eyes. He said, "Thank you, Father," and He proceeded to feed more than 5,000 men, women and children (v. 21).