What does it mean to be a Child of God? Hopefully it’s who you are. It’s who I am. My sense of awe when faced with the amazing complexity in nature helps me understand the relationship I have with my Father. As I studied organic chemistry years ago, it did not make any sense. I felt like a child trying to get a glimpse of the ephemeral dancing carbon and hydrogen. I watched the dust motes swirling in the shaft of sunlight and realized I was trying to look into the elegant whirls of molecules, the attraction of carbon and other elements.
My organic chemistry book made a gallant effort of capturing that elusive mechanism with pluses and minuses and Cs and Hs, a few Ps and Ns thrown in for good measure. They were depicted with little stick drawings, such a puny way to demonstrate the grandeur of God’s creation. Though I had childlike wonder, I could not comprehend.
I turned to my Bible to clear the fog and opened to John 1 and read the 12th verse.
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.”
I am God’s child! Feeling like a child in the face of organic chemistry is a natural response to His Glory. I had to do a bit better than feeling awe when I took the test, but knowing that I am His Child helps me view any small comprehension of organic chemistry that I can muster as a gift. As I study science and try to wrap my brain around the intricacies of His magnificent creation; be it the beauty of a sunset, the tireless pumping of my heart to deliver life giving oxygen to all the trillions of cells in my body, the flight of the delicate monarch, or the longevity of a redwood tree, my faith is increased.
How could anyone study these miracles without acknowledging a Creator God?
And how could you relate to a Creator God without the knowledge that you are yet another of His creation, His child, His beloved? Knowing I have intimacy with the Creator of All Things fuels my desire to understand His creation.
The monarch butterfly unfolds from the cocoon, testament to the imagination of my Father. Glorious in black and orange, just the pattern of its wings a marvel, the incredulous feature I want to understand is its ability to find the pathway from Canada to Mexico. The GPS in my cell phone can guide my car through the myriad highways of America, what a marvel of technology behind that feat! But the monarch butterfly navigates 3000 miles without losing its way. As the butterfly is buffeted by turbulent air currents high above the earth, its brain, infinitesimally small, navigates based on its relative position to the sun. Scientists are still studying exactly how that works!
As a child of God with my capacity for awe and wonder, gifted to me by a loving Father, I can observe the world around me with great delight but minimal comprehension.
Any understanding I can work toward with the meager firing of neurons in my convoluted gray matter is yet another gift.
As a child of God do I have a more meaningful appreciation for creation? To be a child of God also means I will inherit from my heavenly father just as surely as I will from my earthly father. What can I anticipate? These incredible verses in Romans state that I am going to be glorified!
“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him that we may also be glorified together” Romans 8:16-17.
I will be glorified with Christ! What does that mean to have the glory of God? As an image bearer I will share God’s Kingdom. The stupendous implication is that perhaps I will know the secrets of creation in a way no stick figures of hydrogen and carbon can ever impart. Will I understand the butterfly’s capacity for navigation, why the atmosphere paints gorgeous sunsets and sunrises as the earth rotates? The reason for the longevity of redwood trees? Will I know God and understand better His imagination, why he paints black stripes on the white canvas of a zebra, and golden squares on the tawny neck of a giraffe, why penguins are so goofy looking?
My favorite verses on being a child of God are in 1 John:
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are the children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 1 John 3:1-2
This clearly states we shall be like Him! If we’re like Him, will we share his perspective in this world and the spiritual world, the truth behind His cosmic battles? Perhaps it’s a stretch to hope one day I will know the how’s and why’s. Can I know the power behind the waves pounding endless miles of shoreline, can l know the force behind the ebb and flow of my blood, can l know the stars by name and why they twinkle? I am a child of God, I am heir to His Glory. I can’t comprehend fully what that means. Yet. But I can wonder at it all!
Check out the quotes that inspired this blog post: