(Thanks to my dear brother in Christ and friend Steve Kennedy for inspiration on this one.)
Steve recently recounted the story about a gentleman who worked in the bus ministry of a local church many years ago. One day two young boys, brothers, rode the gentleman's bus to church and sat with him in the service. One of the boys sat next to him, with his brother on his side. During the service, the boys were well-behaved, but they did switch places with each other several times. The man finally decided he needed to put an end to the movement, thinking it might be distracting to those sitting by the boys. He leaned over and whispered into the ear of the boy sitting next to him at the time. "Why do you and your brother keep switching places?" The boy looked at him and responded, "Sir, we don't have a daddy. So we're taking turns sitting next to you."
Humanity is a spiritually orphaned race. Because we are the children of Adam's race, we are born in alienation to the God who provides the loving assurance and security of a devoted father in spiritual context, just as a faithful earthly father offers in natural terms. We need to sit next to Him, as it were. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ ushers us to presence of our Father in Heaven, where we are received and accepted in the intimate terms of family. God becomes our Father no less than He is the father of our Savior. "I ascend to My Father and your Father" He said to Mary Magdalene after the resurrection (John 20:17). He says the same to all who are birthed into "the whole family in Heaven and earth" through believing that Christ is the Son of God (Ephesians 3:15; Acts 8:37).
Knowing that we have a spiritual father begins the benefit of being so closely related to God. Knowing that He is in fact God increasingly reveals the wondrous blessing of living relationship with Him through Christ. We may - and must - draw close to Him in practical expression and outworking of our family bond with God. As with the boys in that church service so long ago, the opportunity presents itself to sit close to our Father in Heaven. As we do, great peace, joy and assurance will fill our hearts with our Father's loving devotion to us. His faithful Heart will provide the sense of how safe we are, how beloved we are, and how blessed we are to no longer be spiritual orphans.
"Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children."