“. . . as we wait eagerly for adoption.” Romans 8:23
Even in this world, saints are God’s children, but men cannot discover them to be so, except by certain moral characteristics. The adoption is not manifested, and the children are not yet openly declared. Among the Romans, a man might adopt a child and keep it private for a long time. But there was a second adoption in public: when the child was brought before the constituted authorities, its former garments were taken off, and the father who took it to be his child gave it clothing suitable to its new condition of life. “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared.”
We are not yet arrayed in the apparel that befits the royal family of heaven; we are wearing in this flesh and blood just what we wore as the sons of Adam. But we know that “when he appears” who is “the firstborn among many brothers,” we shall be like him—we shall see him as he is.
Cannot you imagine that a child taken from the lowest ranks of society, and adopted by a Roman senator, would say to himself, “I long for the day when I shall be publicly adopted. Then I shall leave off these plebeian garments, and be robed as becomes my senatorial rank”? Happy in what he has received, for that very reason he groans to get the fullness of what is promised him.
So it is with us today. We are waiting till we shall put on our proper garments, and shall be manifested as the children of God. We are young nobles, and have not yet worn our coronets. We are young brides, and the marriage day is not yet come, and by the love our Spouse bears us, we are led to long and sigh for the bridal morning. Our very happiness makes us groan after more; our joy, like a swollen spring, longs to well up like an Iceland geyser, leaping to the skies, and it heaves and groans within our spirit for want of space and room by which to manifest itself to men.
Adapted from Morning and Evening.