Listen to this devotional:
Psalm 127:3 – Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. (KJV)
Acts 7:21 – And when [Moses] was cast out, Pharaoh's daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son. (KJV)
In February 1997, a month after my father's passing, my brothers and I, living in different parts of British Columbia and Alberta, Canada, each received a letter from a third cousin once removed (as my mother would say) of my father. He lived in the United States, was elated to have found us, and invited us to a first-ever family reunion.
Although neither my younger brother nor I attended, our elder brother did, and it was decided, at that time, to hold a family reunion every other year, alternating between Canada and the United States, locations to be determined.
My interest was piqued, so our eldest daughter and I set out to explore a location in Canada where our side of the family had settled and were buried. It also ignited the flame of pursuing the history of our family, which was started back in the 1950s by my mother in north-eastern British Columbia, and that of one of my father's female cousins in Ontario, Canada. That particular cousin and her husband, a minister, had a family of two girls and two boys, one of whom they were blessed to have had the opportunity to adopt, back in the 1940s.
As time and life would have it, for me and many other relatives, other things took precedence over spending the time to delve deeply into our ancestry. However, that male cousin and the wife of another distant cousin have spent and continue to spend uncountable hours searching records on the Internet, in graveyards, and various other connections, finding new branches or vines of our family all the time, including one branch of four families who have been looking for their roots since the late 1960s.
Our family has been unbelievably blessed with the inclusion of these two people, neither of whom are blood relatives. It reminds me of how blessed we are to be included in the family of God — all who receive Christ as their Saviour are adopted into God's family:
Ephesians 1:4-6 – For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will — to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. (NIV)
Once we are adopted into God's family, we discover we're part of a much larger family whom we might otherwise never have known. What a blessing! We are family!
Prayer: We give thanks, O Lord, for our families; for those who, for whatever reason, are not able to keep their children, allowing others to be blessed by their adoption; and for those who are guided to join a family through marriage. We also thank You for all those whom You bring into Your family, people with all kinds of gifts, talents, and passions. Through Jesus Christ, we pray and give thanks for each day. Amen.