God accepts us as we are and then transforms us
Published 8:36 am Thursday, December 29, 2022
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: There are so many emotions involved in adopting a child. Do children have any say in this process or can they decline the offer? — A.P.
Dear A.P.: The story is told of a woman who cared for an orphan girl. While waiting to be adopted by this woman, the orphan was given instructions to obey this woman who generously provided for her: beautiful clothes, outings, good food, and the security of a loving home. The young girl’s friend taunted her that once she was adopted she would be “stuck” with only the rules to follow. The rules had been pleasant to her, until then.
At the time of adoption when the teenager stood before the judge, she would not agree to abide by the rules required, and she walked away from the woman who loved her. The woman was crushed as she saw the shadow of a daughter walk away. A few years passed as the young girl anguished over her bad decision, and finally took her own life. The woman who had cared for her had a headstone engraved with the words, “She was almost mine.” This is love.
God accepts us as we are and then transforms us, but we can refuse to accept His love.
Those who believe they are not loved are deceived by feelings. Jesus loves those made in His image so much that He laid down His very life to redeem us and has given us rules to guide us through life.
If a child wants to learn how to drive a car, he or she must know the rules of the road. If a child desires to become an athlete, he or she must learn the rules of the game. The Bible says, “The one who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me” (1 John 5:3, NASB). Do we love Him to the point of obedience?
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)