God takes lemons and makes lemonade!
These are the women listed in the lineage of Jesus in as listed in Matthew 1: 1-6
Tamar was a widow without clear prospects.
Rahab was a prostitute whose chose to believe in Almighty God.
Ruth was a Moabite woman without a home. And from this woman - is going to come the great King David. Ruth is noted with prominence in the lineage of Jesus.
Bathsheba was part of an adulterous relationship and yet, is noted with prominence in the lineage of Jesus.
Looking at these four women in the lineage of Jesus; we see different areas of strengths and weaknesses. One was a widow without any prospects for the future who decided to take her life into her own hands; one was a prostitute who stretched her faith and saved her family; one was a foreigner in an unfamiliar land who found favor and abundance in her new life, and one was taken by a powerful man, a woman who could not fight against the dishonor to herself or her dead husband. She mourned, she forgave and ultimately she loved. From these four women and others like them, will come Jesus, the Messiah.
It is amazing how God can use us, people with failures and regrets, for His purposes. For His good things. God takes lemons and makes lemonade!
We, as women, see ourselves in different ways at different times in our lives. Ruth probably grew up seeing herself as a princess with a bright future with nothing but sunshine ahead. She had married a man who brought prominence and distinction to her family tree. She was happy and fulfilled when suddenly everything changed. She had no husband, no home, no prospects and no food. Does she stay or does she go?
This is the crossroads that we find ourselves in so often in life. Do we stay stuck in the past or do we go into the future? Do we stay stuck in our yesterdays or do we head out into our tomorrows? Our identities are all wrapped up in what we already know and sometimes our futures are about our willingness to step into the unknown. Taking risks and walking on a new path.
What do we see when we are looking at ourselves in the mirror. Do we see the princess or the widow? Do we see the dirty little secret or the mother of a wonderful child? Do we hear the voices of ridicule or the shouts of righteousness? Do we see the unloved and unwanted child or the child of God? That is the crossroads we can face; sometimes on a daily basis. We can hear the lies, the little bites, the snide comments, the insinuations from our past, creeping into our ears and we can either listen, falling victim to them once again, or we can claim redemption through Jesus Christ. He has claimed us and has cleansed us of all the rotten stuff that has ever happened to us. He has placed on us garments of joy and praise; he has not clothed us in ashes and dust. He has placed life giving waters into our spirit in place of grief and despair. He has taken what the enemy has caused for our downfall and redirected our path for His plan and His purpose for our lives.
"What do we see when we look in the mirror?" That is a question God asked me not too awfully long ago. What do I see when I look at you in the mirror? That is the question I heard, and here is the answer I heard. I see My beautiful daughter, made in My image, cleansed of all unrighteousness, claimed by My Spirit and renewed in My love. What do you see? Well, I was seeing all kinds of junk and stuff that should be thrown out with the trash.
Then this started to happen. I would find myself walking on the sidewalk, head down; going somewhere when I would hear this small still voice in my head. Head up! You are a daughter of the Most High God. Throw those shoulders back. Walk with dignity. You are a princess. After a while, I would catch myself, walking head down and I would find that strength inside of me to pull my head up and look people in the eye as I walked by. Soon, I was even smiling at them. Such a transition for me; from condemned to confident. I continued to change and with it my outlook changed. I would look in a window as I walked by, you know the way we do, to catch that glimpse of yourself and see if all your clothes are where they are supposed to be; when I would catch a glimpse of a crown. It was just a glimpse mind you, but a crown none the less. A Child of God!
God often took me to Ephesians, Chapter 1: 13 - 14 AMP
13 In Him you also who have heard the Word of Truth, the glad tidings (Gospel) of your salvation, and have believed in and adhered to and relied on Him, were stamped with the seal of the long-promised Holy Spirit. 14 That [Spirit] is the guarantee of our inheritance [the first fruits, the pledge and foretaste, the down payment on our heritage], in anticipation of its full redemption and our acquiring [complete] possession of it—to the praise of His glory.
I began to see that seal on my forehead – it says “Child of God”. We are sealed and stamped with the Holy Spirit. He has made us His child. We are adopted into the Family of God. That seal was an actual tangible thing that I can see when I look in the mirror. Yes, I know I do not have a stamp mark on my forehead, but I can see it in my mind’s eye, and I know it is there. I am a Child of God!
God takes lemons and makes lemonade!