Today, let’s look at the black sheep of the family. Rahab. Did you know that God chose a prostitute to be in the lineage of Jesus? How did she come to be a prostitute anyway?
Was it love for her family that plunged her into this hopeless lifestyle?
Did she need to provide for them?
Were they starving before she made the decision to sacrifice her purity?
Was it for love that she slid into the murky water of sin, drowning on their behalf?
We won’t know these answers this side of heaven, but my guess is based on what I have seen in others like her. No one leads such a desperate, hopeless life unless they feel they have no other choice. Maybe that is the only way she could think of to deal with her hardships.
But then the holy spies came. When she saw and believed the truth, it sparked the hope that perhaps there was another way. Perhaps deliverance could come to lift her out of the dirty water of life in which she was slowly drowning. She had heard the stories.
She had heard how the Lord had dried up another dirty body of water, the Red Sea.
She had heard about all the other miracles as well.
She thought that if their God could do something as impossible as those miracles, maybe the favor of that God could dry up her own helpless situation, and she too could walk away on dry land.
Maybe she wouldn’t drown after all.
Maybe He could deliver her from the desperate life that held her captive.
Can you relate to her situation? Have you ever felt trapped in a sinful existence? Maybe there are reasons why—maybe life seems to have dealt an unfair hand to you. Regardless of all of the reasons you are there, regardless of where you try to place the blame, the fact is you are trapped. You are now a prisoner to a life of sin or depression or hardship, and it appears there is nothing you can possibly do about it. But listen very carefully. I have good news for you.
In Isaiah 61:1-3, we find this prophecy of the coming Savior. Jesus declared in his first sermon that He was the fulfillment of the prophecy and I can testify that He has done this in my life:
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.
What if you have already found the Deliverer, as I have?
Where does that leave you in your responsibilities to others who are still drowning and trapped?
Can you allow the Holy Spirit to use you to spark hope, even if it is only through your presence? As Saint Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the gospel at all times, and if necessary use words.” Please don’t give up on people. Please don’t assume that you or anyone else is too far-gone. Sometimes those who appear furthest away are really the ones closest to the cross, just a step away from accepting the love of the Savior.
Since we have just returned from China a few weeks ago, I am afraid that all of my updates will evolve around what I have learned or am learning through that experience. Today, I have my children’s birthmothers on my mind and in my heart. I pray for them all the time. I can only imagine the pain they endured which led to the decision to give up their children. I don’t judge them. I am not mad at them. I am so, so grateful to them. I am so grateful that they carried my children for nine months so that I could carry them in my heart forever.
I have a picture in my mind when I pray for them. I see us in heaven. I see us embracing our children, the two mothers together. I so want this picture to be reality one day. I pray for a Christian to come to them and share the gospel with them. To share the truth that because of Christ’s finished work on the cross, they too, can be forgiven and redeemed and restored. They are not too far-gone.
Sometimes those who appear furthest away are really the ones closest to the cross, just a step away from accepting the love of the Savior.