This morning I accompanied my best friend, her mother and another friend of ours on a photo shoot. This wasn’t just any old photo shoot; we went to a home for children whose mothers are incarcerated. Aleah and her mom took pictures of each child there, and the developed pictures will be Christmas presents for the children to give to their mothers in prison.

We saw children of all ages, ranging from mid-teens to a four day-old infant. We saw boys and girls, children of various racial and ethnic backgrounds. Some were eager to be models for us, while others had to be coaxed into sitting still and smiling for the camera.

As I watched the children pose and run and play, I felt so grateful for a ministry that provides a place for these children to call home. I can’t imagine the pain they may feel over being separated from their mothers. And I can’t begin to fathom the pain that their mothers feel. But I’d like to think that both mothers and their children are somewhat comforted in knowing that the children are in the hands of very dedicated, nurturing people who love them and love the Lord.

Sadly, there are many children in similar family situations who do not have a home to go to. Perhaps during the holidays more than any other time of the year, the value of home is more clearly felt. For those of who do have family to spend time (and better yet, family that we actually want to spend time with), it can be a very special time of the year. For those who don’t have family geographically close or emotionally close, the holidays can be incredibly painful.

But I am reminded that, regardless of our physical family situation, all of us who accept Christ as our Savior are adopted into God’s family.

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. (Romans 8:15-17)

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (I John 3:1a)

It is a very comforting, and at times overwhelming, thing to consider that we are God’s children. We are entitled to a share of His riches, and we have a permanent home with Him. How incredible that He would choose to call us His children!

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