What the World Needs Now
The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[c]; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” (John 10:25-30).
One of the many joys of being a Christ follower is that a person discovers a relationship that is based on unconditional love, acceptance, and security. As we are loved by Christ, we learn to love others and the family of God becomes a most desirable place for those that have never known a “love that will not let me go”.
Author Keith Miller tells of an outgoing 40-year-old woman who was part of a sharing group he led. Here is her story:
“When I was a tiny little girl, my parents died and I was put in an orphanage. I was not pretty at all and no one seemed to want me. But I longed to be adopted and loved by a family as far back as I can remember. I thought about it day and night, but everything I did seemed to go wrong. I must have tried too hard to please the people who came to look me over and what I did was to drive them away.
“But then one day the head of the orphanage told me that a family was coming to take me home with them. I was so excited that I jumped up and down and cried like a little baby. The matron reminded me that I was on trial and this might not be a permanent arrangement, but I just knew that somehow it would work out.
“So I went with this family and started to school. I was the happiest little girl you can imagine, and life began to open up for me just a little. But then one day a few months later, I skipped home from school and ran into the front door of the big old house we lived in. No one was at home, but in the middle of the front hall was my battered suitcase with my little coat thrown across it. As I stood there it suddenly dawned on me what it meant—I didn’t belong there anymore.”
Miller reports that when the woman stopped speaking there was hardly a dry eye in the group. But then she cleared her throat and said almost matter-of-factly, “This happened to me seven times before I was 13 years old. But wait, don’t feel too badly. It was experiences like these that ultimately brought me to God—and there I found what I had always longed for—a place, a sense of belonging, a forever family.” (Bruce Howell, “The Essence!” 2/21/2009).
The words of the hymn, CHILD OF THE KING, come to mind….
I once was an outcast, a stranger on earth.
A sinner by choice, and an alien by birth.
But I’ve been adopted, my name’s written down,
An heir to a mansion, a robe, and a crown.