Ingrafted & Unbroken
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. Romans 6:5
Because I was not raised in a Christian home and did not come to Christ until my early 20s, I felt somewhat inferior to those with a deeper faith heritage and family trees loaded with legacy of the faithful. I remember a woman who spoke of her family reunion with more than 200 relatives – all Christian – worshiping together and sharing testimonies of God’s goodness going back many generations. It was a beautiful thing. But I couldn’t help thinking how paltry my own faith roots seemed by comparison. Comparison is always dangerous in the body of Christ, and we must not give place to it. But God in his grace showed me something that banished any sense of inferiority.
One day, after moving to a rural community of small avocado ranches, I drove by a neighbor’s grove and saw with horror that all of his trees had been hacked, leaving short stumps where the branches had been. They were painted white like gravestones, desolate, awaiting the final ax. Were they sick? Were they dead? I had no idea what to make of this orchard graveyard.
A few weeks later I was passing by the same grim scene when I saw the owner out tending the desolate grove. I stopped to inquire: What is going on with these trees? He smiled. I am grafting these Bacon trees to Hass, he explained, Hass being the more desirable and delicious of the avocado varietals. Then, pointing to a section of more mature trees flourishing in his grove, he said something I will never forget. The trees I have grafted from Bacon to Hass produce more and better quality fruit than those that come from Hass rootstock. Not only that, but they are more resistant to pests and disease.
Was it possible? Could my place in God’s family tree be as secure, fruitful and favored as those with a rich family heritage?
With joy I realized, as God’s adopted, we are grafted in and growing together into the Kingdom of God. Our place is guaranteed, not by any standing we have in our own right, but as heirs and coheirs with Christ. God does not show favoritism. He sees Christ in each of us who are united with him—planted with him in death, so that we may also be grafted with him into resurrection life. For we did not receive a spirit that makes us a slave to fear or inferiority, but we received the Spirit of genuine sonship in a family line that can never be diminished.
The gift of a God-fearing family tree is a powerful blessing. But those of us who come from a broken home, family or faith heritage may rest in the reality that we are grafted by faith into a tree of life that reconciles us forever to Christ, establishing us—unbroken—in the family of God.
Is there anything that keeps you from receiving the full favor and fruitfulness of Christ? Have you turned every shred of inferiority or insecurity over to Jesus?