Text Illustrations
Illus.: “Adopted by Christ”

John was born into a family of 12 children. They were very poor. He was the youngest. He never remembered his father eating a meal with the rest of the family. He had to work long hours to feed his family. One day his father ran off with another woman, leaving his mother to care for all 12 children. At age 6, his mother told him through tears that she was going to put him up for adoption along with 3 of his sisters. She told him she had no choice. If she didn’t take this step they would likely starve.


She placed an ad in a newspaper of a nearby town and within 3 days a couple responded. When the day finally came for John to leave, he said it was the worst day of his life. They were at the train station, ready to say their last good-byes. He said, “When the conductor reached down to take me from my mother’s arms I felt something die on the inside of me.


His new family was very loving and kind but it was just not the same. John lived with the constant fear that one day they would give him away too. He grew into adulthood and finally went out on his own. He spent year after year absorbed in his work, trying to bury the deep hurt in his soul


One day something beautiful happened. In a moment of great discouragement, he visited a church, hoping he would hear a word that would boost his spirits. Little did he know that his life would be changed forever. The preacher talked about how God loves to adopt people into his forever family. At the end of the sermon he asked if anyone would like to join God’s family. John raised his hand and then went to the altar. At last, the ache in his heart was healed. Jesus told him He would never abandon him, never send him away. After years of turmoil and hate, John felt loved and accepted. He now had a security he never dreamed possible. He felt the Lord saying to him, “John, I know about that day at the train station. I know how you felt and I’ve been waiting all these years to adopt you into my family.”


There is never a single, horrible memory but what God plans to eclipse it with a better one. Like green grass sprouting to recolor a burned-over field, so God brings along beauty for ashes.

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