The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out of the common thread that bound us all together. — Erma Bombeck
That kind of sums up the family of God too, doesn't it? “Sharing… hiding… locking each other out… inflicting,” etc. As brothers and sisters in Christ, the same longings and desires drive us toward what we could be; meanwhile, experiencing what we are and aren't: “A strange little band of characters trudging through life… trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.”
The “common thread” is there, however, written clearly in the lines of the Bible—it's something deeper than the random victories and defeats we experience together, something stronger than the “good times” when we seem to meet each other's needs as we stand shoulder to shoulder for a common cause:
…In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will… In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:4-5,11-12)
God has a plan for His family; we are that plan. Destined and adopted we are living in harmony with His pleasure, His will, to His glory.
Father, Give me eyes that can see through the mess of life in Your family. Flawed as we are, give me a heart of faith that can accept myself and my brothers and sisters around me as part of Your perfect plan. I surrender in “conformity to Your will,” that my life might be lived “for the praise of Your glory.”