Saturday, February 21, 2009

Deeper Still

In my "Be Strong and Courageous" post I mentioned that I am doing a precept study on the book of Joshua with some women in my church. This morning I started this week's assignments and it took me through Joshua 2.

In this chapter, Joshua sends to spies to the land of Canaan and they hide out in Rahab's house. When some messengers from the king of Jericho come looking for the men, she diverts them and enables the spies to escape. They make a promise to spare her and her family when the time comes for Joshua to lead the Israelites into the land provided that she ties a scarlet ribbon in the window through which she escaped, and as long as she and her family stay in her house. In Joshua 6, we learn that Joshua sends the two spies to bring Rahab and her family out of the house before destroying the city. She and her family are spared.

That in itself may seem like a huge thing, but there are some other things about Rahab that make this story so much more fascinating.

Did you know that Rahab was a prostitute?

Did you know that Rahab is in Jesus's lineage?

As I was reading this morning, all I could keep thinking was this : No one is beyond God's reach.

God used a prostitute to help fulfill a covenant he made with Abraham. He used a prostitute as part of Jesus's lineage. This filled me with such hope.

I feel like often times, people who are engulfed in a sinful way of life are easily written off... that they can't be helped or they are too far gone.

No one is too far gone.

As far gone as someone may seem, God's reach is farther still.

As engulfed in sin as someone may be, God's reach penetrates still.

As deep as someone may be in the pit of despair, God's reach is deeper still.

One of the passages we had read at Isaac's memorial service came from Romans 8, and part of it said this:

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
-Romans 8:38-39

I don't know where you are this morning in terms of your relationship with God. But I want you to here this: No one is beyond His reach. Nothing can separate us from His love. His love reaches deeper still.

This brought me great comfort today... that even in the times when I feel like I am in the pit of despair and am completely "unusable", His love finds me... His grace redeems me... and He is still able to use me.

It's the hope of my heart that this would somehow encourage you today.

20 comments:

Laura said...

Thanks, Stacy. That post is so inspiring and really one that I quite needed this morning.
You have blessed my day!

Tammy On the Go said...

Thank you for this post today, thank you for once again starting my morning with you and the Lord.

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Beautiful, Stacy...and so true. No one is beyond His reach...nothing separates us from His love.

~Brenda said...

All I need to say to that is "Amen, and amen." :-))

~Brenda
www.prairiebren.blogspot.com

JR said...

Thanks Stacy

I just recently discovered your blog, and I love it! Your words have challenged and inspired me today. I needed to be reminded that nobody is beyond God's reach.

Molly said...

Thank you for writing about this. I often feel like my past actions are unforgivable. I know better but sometimes it's hard to believe that God could forgive all the wrong steps that I've taken. I have really come to love blogs. There are so many of them out there that have inspired me to grow closer to God. Yours is one of them. You see, your son is living through so many people.

Spellbound said...

Thanks Stacy. I needed to hear that again. Sometimes I question whether God forgives me for my past mistakes. It is so good to remember how forgiving and loving our heavenly father is.

Miss V said...

I seem to always tear up when I read your posts and today was no different. Thank you for reminding me that God is able to reach even the seemingly unreachable.

I have been praying for my father's salvation for over 5 years. Day after day I prayed and I'll admit that most of those days I felt as if I was praying in vain, I didn't really believe God would save him. Then on an ordinary day in December, God used me. It was such a spur of the moment thing. My dad has been attending church with my family since then and it's so awesome to hear him say how each message touches him in someway. He missed a couple weeks recently b/c he was sick and when he returned last Sunday he said, "Man, I'm really bummed when I miss any of his messages." That came from someone I prayed for for so long and whom I doubted would change. God surprises us sometimes....sometimes we actually get what we pray for. Thanks so much for...well....for you. God Bless you today Stacy.

Anonymous said...

I needed this, thank you.

Rebecca Louise. said...

I do not have a religious faith like you Stacy but it bring me great happiness to know that you are comforted by God's actions and the Bible's teachings. It really does. xxx.

Brenna said...

Stacy, yours is the only particularly faith-based blog that I follow. I have a hard time with organized religion and I'm still trying to figure out what form my relationship with God should take. I do believe in God, I know that much, and reading your blog is helping me to see that I have a place in God's world, whether I realize it or not. Thank you. You always inspire so many people with your posts--what a gift.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. I've lost 2 children also (a miscarriage and a stillborn son), but I didn't respond to my losses as positively as you have. My faith was shaken and I felt very far from God. I've been struggling lately with how God could forgive me for turning my back on Him when I should've run to Him. Your post was encouraging...I need to reread it.

Ruth said...

Thank-you for this reminder. I'm really struggling right now but God is using you and in other ways reminding me of His steadfast love and faithfulness. Even this Sunday's sermon was about the gospel for believers, finding God as our refuge in the face of our own sin. I hate that I'm struggling right now but this is where God wants me, on my knees.

KE II said...

Thanks Stacy, that is so encouraging. I too find the story of Rahab incredible, that God not only saves us all, that it is sinners like Rahab that he uses, that Rahab is in Jesus lineage just makes the story of Jesus so much more relatable, the fact that HE has been here, felt our pain, grief and suffered more than we can ever imagine or thank Him for is amazing, and strikes me more each day. Thanks for sharing and encouraging me often :)

Laura said...

I think about Mary Magdeline; she was also a prostitute and Jesus revered her as much as his own mother...
THAT is true Christianity...

Rebecca Jo said...

I always need to be reminded that God loves me - even the horrible sinner I am... wonderful post!

Anonymous said...

Will you please pray for this family. My sisters soon to be 4 year old neice was diagnosed with leukemia for the second time.

http://dynamicmikelsduo.blogspot.com/

They could really use your prayers. Thank you so much!

Katie

Anonymous said...

Stacy,
You have such a beautiful way of conveying not just your emotions but your thoughts. This is such an inspiring post, with a message I believe so deeply in. Thank you for sharing with us again!
Alicia

Antonia said...

Hi Stacy:

I tend to be more of a lurker than a commentator here, but I have been following your blog for some time. I wanted to let you know that your story, as well as your faith have really inpsired and touched me. I have nominated you for an award and ask that you please visit my blog when you have a moment!! Thanks so much!

Antonia

mommara said...

Beautiful. Amen.

I still pray for you often.