In Forever Young: My Friendship with John F. Kennedy, Jr., Billy Noonan recalls the life experiences he shared with the son of President John Kennedy.

In 1980, as one of the stories goes, John Jr. and Billy were invited aboard the USS John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier. On a guided tour of the ship, the two young men and their guide inadvertently entered a restricted area. When an officer stopped them, the guide pointed to John and said, “This is his father’s ship.” Snapping to attention, the officer saluted John. He explained his understanding that when a US Navy ship is named for someone, it is considered that person’s ship. Thus, as the son of the man for whom the ship was named, John Jr. had unique privileges.

This illustrates a vital spiritual principle. As adopted children in God’s family, we who have been saved possess the position of sonship. Paul wrote that as believers we are “predestined . . . to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself” (Eph. 1:5). By virtue of this sonship, we have the unique privileges that belong to the children of the King of kings.

In life’s challenging voyage, we can take courage that our “Abba, Father” (Rom. 8:15) owns the ship and shares all with us. Praise God, we are joint-heirs with Christ!