Yesterday I was looking at the story of Rahab. It’s found in Joshua 2. She protects the spies and in return she and her family are spared. It’s a good Old Testament story.
But here’s the thing about Rahab. Almost every time she’s mentioned in the Bible, Old or New Testament, she’s called “Rahab, the prostitute” (or harlot depending on your translation). Yikes. I mean every time they talk about her, they bring up her past. There’s no clear indication that she’s engaging in that activity now, though she could be. She has a family to think about.
It makes me think about my own past. I’ve never been a prostitute or even done sordid things, but there’s things in my past I’m not proud of. I wouldn’t want to be known by them.
I’ve worked hard to not let the past define me. When I first admitted to struggling with anxiety, I didn’t want it to be something people knew. But it became something I couldn’t hide. And now I talk about it to force myself to not be ashamed of this part of me, however I still don’t want to be known by it. I don’t want to be known by any mistake I’ve made.
Yet Rahab’s story gives us hope. She was a prostitute. She lied to cover up for the spies. Through all her flaws, God uses her in a mighty way to help Joshua and his people. In the end, she ends up in the genealogy of Jesus. How’s that for redemption?
It’s through her faith that God used her. And it’s that faith that reminds us that He can do great things through any of us.
We don’t have to be proud of our past, but we don’t have to be ashamed of it either. God can take all the parts of our story and redeem them and use them for His good and His glory. Think on that. No matter what you’ve done, give it to Him and watch Him work.
That’s not to say go out and do whatever so you can have a good story. God’s not in the market for good stories, I don’t think. But don’t let your past weigh you down.
Maybe you’re like me and your past, while not that bad, isn’t glory filled all the time. I think back on February when I nearly came undone. I say about that time now, I am sad that it happened but I am glad that it happened. What I mean is God used it for His glory. If it hadn’t happened, I would have never admitted the problem. I would have never recognized my need for help. I would have kept going down the same path and I might have lost everything.
Instead my past becomes now something that I can learn from and grow from, something that I can use to encourage others that just need to hear, hey I’ve been there too. I don’t know where my story goes, but I know the Storyteller isn’t done with it.
I trust God with every part of my story. I trust He is writing something wonderful with my life and I leave all the parts in His hands. I encourage you to do the same. Don’t run from your past, but rather ask God in faith how your past can be used for His good and His glory.