If you can, before reading the post, take a few minutes to listen to the music linked below:
Out of Hiding (Father Song) - Steffany Gretzinger
Out of Hiding (Father Song) - Steffany Gretzinger
I recently started a study program that takes a reader through the entire Bible in a year. I have spent my entire life growing up with the Bible and I cannot say I have meditated on all of it. At first that was embarrassing to me. As someone who grew up in and around Christianity, I should be able to say I've done this... right? Now do not get me wrong, I am sure I have HEARD all the content that is in the Bible and I know that I have READ at least half of scripture but that is extremely different than meditating on it.
The Bible legitimately scares me! There is so much knowledge, so much truth, so much revelation, so much forgiveness, so much love, so much redemption, and the list goes on. It is intimidating! I finished Genesis recently and my emotions are all over the place as I am writing this. It has been a while since I have posted and that is because my walk with God has been very stagnate. My pastor preached a sermon recently that reminded me, if you are not growing in your relationship with God, you are growing in a relationship to worldly things. I heard this years ago and it is absolutely true.
There is no such thing as being stagnate in any relationship. It is similar to canoeing down a river. If you stop rowing, you will begin moving in what ever direction the current is going - and that current might be sweeping you further back then where you first started. That is terrifying. I have been letting the currents take me wherever they have pleased but that is not necessarily pleasing to God. Once I took a self evaluation and saw where my relationship with God was in relation to where I wanted it to be - I immediately knew something had to change. So I began the journey to complete the Bible in a year! On paper it is extremely overwhelming to look at but I understand that for me to grow deeper spiritually, I need to be challenged.
I am grateful that God is willing to still look at me and call me His. I am not ashamed to admit my failures and my faults. I am not ashamed to admit that I have been and still am a sinful human because that is the truth. There is not a person living on this earth today that can look me in the eyes and tell they have not sinned against God or that they have never done any type of wrong.
Unfortunately, I have been shamed another person because of my sins. This has happened to me a small amount of times in my life and it hurts. Being shamed by someone leaves a terrible taste in the mouth. I have spent the majority of my life living for God and apparently that means I am not allowed to sin or fall into temptation... ever. I absolutely wish the two worked hand and hand like that. I hate to break it to you but they definitely do not. This was solidified during my reading of Genesis.
All I could do was thank God for turning everyones shortcomings into something glorious and beautiful. For starters... our beginning could have ended right after Adam and Eve. Then God could have ended it after the wickedness of Cain and Abel. Then He could have ended at the flood. Oh man does the list go on and on. God was probably giving humanity face palms and side-eyes every other minute. He could have given up on us at the beginning and He had so many opportunities to do so.
The redemption story of Genesis is absolutely beautiful and overlooked. The love God has for us is overlooked. The faith and trust those people had towards their Creator is also extremely overlooked. God knew what was to come out of all of this chaos at the beginning of creation; and what was to come was the most magnificent gift we have ever received. Eternal Life. Let me say that again... ETERNAL LIFE.
"Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying 'God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.' So Joseph died, being 110 years old. They embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt." Genesis 50:25-26. I believe in Josephs last moments God revealed to him what was going to happen after he died and that revelation caused him to say those foreshadowing words. God takes all the wickedness that happens in Genesis and uses it as the foundation for the entire Bible - more importantly, Christs birth.
Shame used to be a huge cloud that hung over my head for most of my life. It has taken me a long time to understand that God's love is not conditional and He will take broken people, make them whole, and use them for His Glory. It has been so inspiring for me to also find these beautiful redemption stories in Genesis. Growing up I thought the Old Testament was only about people relying on God's strength to conquer and be victorious. I am happy to admit, I was very wrong. There are so many redemption stories in the Old Testament that we gloss over and I cannot wait to read them all!