There are a few things in my past that I hate to include as part of my story. Things I am not proud of. Things that embarrass me. Things that I know have hurt me and those around me. I am not talking about sneaking and watching Children of the Corn when I was 11 or wearing culottes skiing in high school or even the time I wore my moms dress to school when I was in the 7th grade (she was out of town). While these are all things I would like to forget and certainly weren't among my shining moments, they pale in comparison to other shame-filled parts of my story.
Recently as I was reading the genealogy of Jesus, I noticed that both Tamar and Rahab were mentioned by name as part of Jesus' lineage. Both were harlots, prostitutes. And I wondered about why God would want them included in His Word and especially in the beautiful gospels telling of His precious son's birth.
Was it because He knew there would be those of us who were so spotted that we would need to know that God uses all kinds of people to accomplish His purpose? Was it so we would understand that flawed and imperfect people can be redeemed? Was it so God could prove that no one has done too much or strayed too far to be touched by Jesus? Was it so Jesus could share His story with others who had sinned the same way?
I don't know why...but I am sure glad that God found a way to included these women and that in His Word He didn't hide their names or gloss over their portion of the lineage. It was part of Jesus' story. It challenges me to find a way to share all of my story...not just the parts that are pretty and put together...but the parts where Jesus pulled me out of the trash of this world and let me know life with Him is more...more beautiful, more fulfilling, more adventurous, more peaceful, more honest, more loving....more than I could ever imagine.
Instead of letting Satan tell us we aren't good enough because of our past, let's find ways to bring glory to God by telling others how He saved us from ourselves! Satan and his forces have robbed us of enough..God ordered your story and although those parts that we are ashamed of can drag us down if we focus on ourselves, those same parts can lift our Lord up by sharing with others what a compassionate, long-suffering, faithful God we serve. We don't have to live in shame anymore! We have victory because of what HE has done! Now that's worth sharing!