“And the one who was seated on the throne said, ‘See, I am making all things new.’” (Rev. 21:5)
A friend, during a recent conversation, said she had just taken a DNA test. When I asked if she had learned anything interesting about her background, her eyes got real big, and she said, “Yes, I’m very surprised to find out that I’m 48% Caucasian.” This was a revelation to her because she identifies herself as black.
If we really knew all the circumstances of all our forebears, some of us would probably learn some interesting details. Color lines getting crossed. Hasty weddings are performed to avoid shame. Extended hospital visits to hide addictions. Relatives were denied it because they were convicts. Parents abandoned. Children disowned. Breakdowns. Infidelities. Disappearances.
As much as some of where and what we come from may be troubling, none of us should be surprised. Relationships are hard. Life is messy. Love isn’t tidy. Human beings make bad choices, get confused, do terrible things, and lose their way.
What I think is surprising isn’t the messes or complexity that we come from but the courage and resilience that keeps us going. What should never surprise us is that regardless of where and what we come from, God can and will still work out His purposes in our lives.
The encouragement in today’s scripture is that no matter what mess or brokenness or complications we come from, the Lord Jesus can make “all things new.” What most matters aren’t the people or families we come from, but the One in whose image we’re made—God.
Because of the grace of Jesus, none of us should hold onto being embarrassed or ashamed. We need to claim all we come from—no matter what it all looks like, feels like, sounds like, or smells like—and offer it all to Him.
When we offer all of where we come from and all of who we are to Jesus, we can be encouraged that His grace can find the lost, heal the sick, mend the broken, straighten the twisted, and can, finally, “make all things new.”
- What and who do you come from? Have you discovered or had any surprises like my friend did? If so, do you need to make peace with any part of your history or family tree?
- Do you have some habit or attitude, some feeling or thinking, some actions or behaviors that you need Jesus to change and make new? If so, what?
- Regardless of the messes you have come from or the messes you have made, God still wants to work with you for His purposes in your life. How is God working out His purposes in your life?