He was an orphan from an abusive and neglectful background. Paul gave him a home and a forever family. Paul opened his heart to him and offered stability in ways the child had never known before. Paul knew it would take a while to adjust, for both of them. He expected some bad habits and even behavior problems from the child. Paul knew it would take a while for the child to trust him and know how much better life could be with him. Paul just didn’t know how long “a while” truly was.
What Paul didn’t expect was the utter rejection. He didn’t expect the barriers the child kept throwing up in their relationship. Paul didn’t expect the lashing out and the explosive anger directed at him, the one who offered the child a home, love, stability, and peace. The frustration and hurt that comes from this was deeper than Paul ever expected. What is so objectionable about a home with love, where even the boundaries are drawn with love and protection in mind? What is so objectionable about the offer of stability and peace?
Then Paul had the most intrusive and shameful epiphany. Paul was just like the child. He was an orphan and God wanted to adopt him. God offered His heart and stability. God offered His love, peace, and a forever home. Yet, Paul found it objectionable. He rejected God’s love and especially any of His boundaries, in spite of the fact they were drawn in absolute love and for Paul’s protection.
Most of all, Paul found the truth to be the most objectionable. How could God say he wasn’t good enough on his own? After all, Paul had survived before God offered His love. Paul couldn’t swallow the pride that had dominated and, in a pathetic way, protected him over the years. Paul couldn’t stand that God wanted to tear down his defenses or understand how God would become his Defender. He couldn’t stand to face the fact that he was a sinner and needed a Savior.
Paul’s rejection of Him hurt. It hurt until He bled and died, but that was not the end of the story. He did not stay dead and because of that victory, there is a way to be an orphan no more. It took a while, but Paul surrendered to the grace God offered. In that grace, God knew Paul would have some bad habits and even behavior problems. It took a while, but now Paul realized he has a forever Home in Him. He has a forever Dad in Him. He has peace and stability. He has Love like never before. The boundaries Paul once so despised are now signposts of God’s love for him.
It will take a while, but if God’s grace is in Paul, maybe he can pass it on to his new son so he too will be an orphan no more.