I love taking early morning walks in my neighborhood. The quiet road, the sun peeking over the rooftops, the birds chirping. It is a peaceful time. Well, usually …
Recently, I was enjoying a leisurely walk and was about to cross the street when I saw something that caused me to jump straight up in the air. There at the edge of the curb lay a flattened, dead squirrel. The muscles in my face cringed in disgust as I gingerly raised my foot far and wide from the filthy carcass. However, before my foot even touched the ground, I heard God speak to my heart.
“Why are you so repulsed? Don’t you realize you were in that same condition when I found you?”
Wow. How quickly we forget.
I have been a Christian almost 20 years now, but have I forgotten the miry pit from which God plucked me? Or worse, do I ever look on someone else’s condition or situation with contempt or disgust? Is there anyone outside of God’s reach? Is anyone“untouchable” to God?
No. The Bible tells us we all need redemption — and praise God — it is available to all.
In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he reminds us that at one time, we were all far from God. We were all dead in our transgressions and living in darkness (Ephesians 2:1, 13, Ephesians 5:8). The prophet Isaiah tells us that our sin has shriveled us like a leaf and our deeds are like filthy rags. Our enemies have left us trampled and stepped on (Isaiah 64:6, Isaiah 51:23). And yet, God’s Word encourages us with this precious reminder:
“But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11b (NASB)
Even so, not all will accept Him. Many, even after hearing of God’s gift, will choose to remain in their pit. Scripture teaches that many prefer the company of the wicked and the pleasures of sin (John 3:20, Romans 2:8). The Bible warns us in Hebrews 10:28-29:
“Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?” (NASB)
As Christians, we must never confuse the messy condition of someone’s life with the value of that person’s soul. Though his life may be broken, bleeding, foul, and rotting on the outside, his soul remains precious in God’s sight. And God is not only willing, but actively seeks, all who would turn to Him and be saved.
Picture Jesus on the Cross: though holy and without sin, He was insulted, beaten, broken, bleeding, “trampled underfoot,” and abandoned to the grave. His outward condition caused many to turn away – even in disgust – yet that same body veiled the eternal Son of God within. In the same way, when God looks upon us, it is our precious soul that God sees. Every one of us is made “in the image of God” and valuable to Him.
And because only God can see the soul He loves, we, as His redeemed, are called to share the Good News with all who are made in His image – even if their outer lives appear as hopeless as road kill. Just as God reminded me so vividly this morning, you and I must never forget that at one time, “such were some of you.” 1 Corinthians 6:11 (NASB)
Father, thank you for the precious blood of Your Son Jesus that cleanses us from all sin and enables us to stand before You as beloved children, holy and blessed in Your sight. Amen.
– By Shadia Hrichi, an author and speaker passionate for seeing lives transformed by the power of God’s Word. In addition to numerous articles, Shadia is the author of a brand new Bible study, HAGAR: Rediscovering the God Who Sees Me, as well as Worthy of Love and Nameless No More. Shadia holds an MA in Biblical and Theological Studies, as well as an MA in Criminal Justice. Currently residing in northern California, Shadia regularly speaks at churches and women’s events and loves to visit the ocean each week for ”a date with Jesus.” Visit http://www.shadiahrichi.com