I am reading Romans, yes in the Bible, recommended by my hubby. I was familiar with Romans Road and many of the various key passages of the book. (I first heard the term Romans Road, when my daughter brought home a booklet containing the verses, she made at school. Not so long ago.) Slowly reading the book, I love the way it focusses on a relationship with God reflecting in relationships of those I love.
Beginning in Acts there is the amazing story of how Saul was transformed to Paul. Following Acts is Romans, I feel as though that transformation is so fresh and raw. The letter to the Romans contains such a strength forcing the reader to examine their actions and relationships in this world mirroring Paul’s transformation. It is almost like Paul is imploring me to see or become that transformation in my own life.
So I am continually pulled back to this verse, Romans 11:11-12
I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. Now if their fall is riches for the world and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!
Paul is referring to Israel’s fall as their rejection of the Gospel which lead to a faster awareness and acceptance of the Gospel among the Gentiles.
God uses everything. “Through their fall,” God was there. God exchanged the hurtful, horrible rejection of His Son, for good. For this good-“salvation has come,” “their fall is riches for the world,” “their failure, riches for the Gentiles.”
My 9 year old daughter and I have hit a bump in the road, as we do on occasion. My daughter knows me better than most and is incredibly sensitive to my moods and stress level. Recently, I would find her running off to her room in tears at odd moments. I chalked this up as an emotional preteen. Until she said to me on two different occasions what made her cry was the way I looked at her. Apparently I was giving her a mean, angry, appalled look… There are times when I give a look and wish to convey these feelings. What was so strange about these occasions was that those were NOT the feelings I wished to convey at all. In fact, I remember just being caught up in my thoughts. I told my husband about it and we just laughed it off as preteen drama with more to come. Time is going on, every now and again she calls me out giving her that look. What I find is the momentary look I give her is a quizzical look. I recognize parts of myself directly in my daughter. I don’t like much of those parts on me. How does it look so beautiful and innocent on my daughter?
I am not comparing myself to an Israelite from biblical times, or perhaps I am. But if God could use their rejection of His Son, for good, He could most certainly use my times of rejection and poor choices for good. All of my choices in life have lead me here; accepting salvation. There have surely been consequences. But “Salvation has come“. Perhaps my “falls” in life are the riches for my “world”. How much more my fullness? I see myself reflecting in my daughter and it isn’t all bad. How much more her fullness as we step forward together in Christ, with out shame, with love, strength and faith. All things I have learned and continue to learn through God’s word. I am taking off this cloak of shame, regret, whatever so I do not shroud my daughter with in it. We make mistakes, I make mistakes, God redeems. The Lord has placed that promise in my heart as I look at my daughter.