Monday, March 31, 2008

"Gotcha Day"

Our Ladies Bible study meets tomorrow, and while I usually have my homework done the week before I am a little behind. We are studying the "Fingerprints of God", a study that is designed to make us more aware of God's daily touch in our lives. In this week's study Jennifer Rothschild talks about a "gotcha day." Since I have been involved in the adoption community for the last thirteen years I understood what she meant by that.

Many people not only celebrate their adopted child's birthday but also they day the child joined the family. We have not chosen to celebrate the "gotcha day" in our home for a couple of reasons. First, we brought David home from the hospital when he was one day old so he has really been ours his whole life. We could have started a "gotcha day" on the day the adoption was finalized, but since we have always thought of this as more of a legal and not a "heart" date we haven't made a big fuss about it.

Secondly, what if we had biological children to follow and just stopped "gotcha day"? This could be more harmful than good or if "gotcha day" continued it could make the other children feel less important. I also have bristled at the name "gotcha day" it just made me think of "the day we got the car or the new house"—more of a possesion than anything. I know others may feel differently and I can see why they may have chosen to celebrate it.

While Mrs. Rothschild is not adopted, she does use this in reference to the day she was saved and God "got her." The same bristling came back to me, I have this image of God chasing after us on the playground and saying "gotcha." Not my image of God. But she then goes on to say, "I felt God's redeeming touch on me as He gently pulled me close to His heart and made me His very own." Now this is more like it.

This week's study goes on to show us the "before" and "after" we become Christians. She uses Galatians 2:21–3:5 to show that "When we live by a law of our own making, we procalim a hidden belief that, as nice as He is, we really don't need God. Rather than relying on our own effort we must each courageously place our life alongside the biblical standard of believing God." This pushes us farther from God.

The "after" picture shows that when we become His adopted children we automatically inherit all rights into the family's estate.

Just like David didn't work to become our son, we don't work to become sons and daughters of God. And when David doesn't follow our "laws" he doesn't lose membership in our family and we don't question if he truly is a member. Nothing he does will change his membership in our family.


Anonymous said...

Just a thought. For natural children maybe "gottcha" day could be the day you discovered you were expecting -- that would be about a 6 month difference.
I have often wanted to celebrate December 27, 1975 -- the day I turned my life over to Christ -- but never quit knew how. Do you have any suggestions?
Rita in Oly

Richard D said...

Rita: My recommendation would be Epiphany Day, if that one's not already taken. Kind of -- the day the light went on.

Kim said...

Maybe a small cake with the amount of candles to match the years since you became a child of God. Perhaps a small "gift" towards His work. A donation to a missionary is always appreciated and would spread the gospel.
I try to serve each year in our Vacation Bible school, since I was saved at a backyard Bible club one summer. It is my way of thanking God and Mrs. Lyall (the lady who held the Bible club.)

Anonymous said...

Great ideas, guys. Thanks. I'm going to incorporate the giving part as my way to say a special "thanks" to God.
Rita in Oly