“OH YEAH! That’s right! I’m going to college for FREE!” I came into the living room of our home in time to see my son gleefully dancing as if he’d won the lottery.
Before I even had a chance to ask why he was so ecstatic, he blurted out, “Daddy, did you know that Mama is part Jewish?!” I am Puerto Rican, so by definition I—and he and his sister, by extension—are multi-racial (Google it). My wife (their mother) is a combo of German, Irish…and Jewish—needless to say filling out medical forms for my kids is somewhat of a hassle. But I digress.
Who’s Your Daddy?!
My wife and her family are totally into genealogy as a hobby. My wife has taken hours of her time to research and document in excruciating detail the history and genealogy of her family—and mine. Furthermore, she has used her considerable artistic skills to design and create beautifully illustrated and entertaining (thick and heavy) books with all this information.
It’s just not my wife who’s interested in this. Discovering and knowing who you and your people appears to be central to who we are as humans—apparently, it’s also great TV! The magazine Family Tree listed the eight top genealogy TV shows. Don’t miss it: there are much more shows, but according to the writer, these are the cream of the crop.
If you want to learn more specifically about your physical hereditary traits, you can always shell out money and have your DNA tested. That’s right, there are a multiplicity of companies who, for the right price, will give you a detailed report that will tell you everything you need to know about where you come from and who your descendants are.
But what if you’re adopted? What then?
Birth Family Blues
Unfortunately, the family that all of humanity was born into was unhealthy, dysfunctional, and who are we kidding: we are all depraved, selfish, self-centered, and sinful! We have both our first parents, Adam and Eve to thank for that.
Okay, that’s the bad news, but praise God, there’s good news, too! The Apostle Paul puts it like this:
So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. (1 Corinthians 15: 21, 22, NLT).
But as the cheesy, wild-eyed, frothy-mouthed TV announcer shouts: “But wait…there’s MORE!”
“But Wait…There’s MORE!”
If God would have given us salvation from sin and death and admittance into eternity with Him, it would have been an amazing deal, but God didn’t stop there, He took it—as He always does—to the next level and made us part of not just the Heavenly family, but the Godly family! If you’re a Christian, you have both the right and privilege to call yourself a child of God and an heir to all that God has. The Apostle Paul again clearly lays out what this means:
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. (Romans 8:14-17, NLT).
G-O-D—It’s Just You and Me!
I grew up in central Florida—Apopka, to be exact. It comes from the Seminole Indian word “Ahapopka” which means “Potato eating place”. It is surface-of-the-sun hot and there are greenhouses and farms everywhere! It’s a humid and hot area, like getting out of the shower, drying off, and already sweating hot!
Dad was (and still is) an amazing farmer and when I was a kid, on weekends, my two brothers and I would work HARD outside helping my dad keep up the several acres of property he owned. I can’t speak for my brothers, but the reason I worked so hard was that I was afraid of what my father would do to me when I disobeyed and secondly, because he would always promise to take us to Rock Springs…actually the proper name is Kelly Park, one of the many incredible and surprising gems our town held.
Kelly Park was a wondrous place where Dad would grill out, we would eat junk food and have spring-water cooled slices of watermelon until we were ready to pop! It was a great childhood. The only problem was that every Saturday and Sunday the park filled to capacity by mid-morning and there was a waiting line of cars many miles deep.
But that wasn’t a problem for us because my father worked for (and retired from) The Orange County Department of Parks & Recreation, which meant that he knew every employee and park ranger (by first name) at every park in the county—and we never had to wait.
We would arrive at the back of the line and Dad would tell us “hold onto something boys,” and drive on the shoulder or ditch—whatever it took to get us to the gate. Needless to say, the other people who were waiting in line were very upset and angry—we learned a lot of vocabulary words that weren’t appropriate for anybody to use—much less our innocent-cherubic ears.
Dad would pull up to the gate, roll his window down, say hello to whatever park ranger was there that day, and we would enter—did I mention that Dad never had to pay? Then to make things more amazing, there was always the best parking spaces available, because he would always park in the “Employee” parking.
Every time we went there, I felt like a king. When I got old enough to drive and had a car of my own, I would come with my friends and dates and I was still able to get in without waiting and paying and I was able to park in the sweetest spots.
If the employees didn’t know me by my face, I simply had to say one phrase that consisted of five simple words: “Frank Miranda is my Dad” and presto! The entire park was open and available to me.
I share that story because it illustrates the main idea that as Christians we need to learn to view God as Someone who is a loving father that we can approach; who is intensely interested in our daily lives; and who is more interested in our holiness rather than our happiness. Because He knows that the more holy we are, the happier we will be.
When Jesus told His disciples: “‘This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,’” (Matthew 6:9, NIV; emphasis mine), they were blown away! You see, until Jesus “flipped the script” so to speak, the conventional religious understanding of the day was that God was housed in the inner-most “Most Holy Place” in the Temple and that the only way that a regular sinful person could access and interact with Him was through a priest; and even then, only once a year!
To say the least: God was perceived as Someone who was, well, God! He was perceived as a scary, powerful, and basically other-worldly Being. But Jesus, through His life, death, and resurrection, told us, “no, God is like a father…and not just any father…He’s My Father and now I have made Him Your Father, too!”
As an earthly father loves his children and wants to do special things for them (I certainly hope this has been your experience with your father—but if not, God wants to be there for you), God is also tripping over Himself to do the same for each of His children!
Once you wrap your head around that truth, it will change your life. So in all your searching for your earthly descendants, don’t overlook the most important connection you will ever have: the eternal one that Jesus died to give you. I hope you will come to understand that all God wants to do is to have a relationship with you and love you. After all, He’s done all the hard work of making it happen by sending His Son, Jesus, to make it possible. He’s waiting for your answer.
I hope it’ll be “Yes!”
 See https://www.familytreemagazine.com/premium/must-see-genealogy-tv/; accessed on December 16, 2018.
 See Romans 3:9-20.
 See Genesis 3.
 Exodus 25: 8, 9.