Meeting someone is fun. The questions fly from all sides, hopefully well intended. Where did you grow up? How many siblings do you have? What are you parents like? When was your first date, first kiss? Did you spend time in jail?
Sometimes I feel like in am in the interrogator's spot, struggling to fine the answer that is both truthful and acceptable. The questions keep coming fast and furious towards me. I find myself with the verbal darts flying and there is no place to hide. My face is out in plain sight. What a vulnerable target! I know their motives are not necessarily bad, but my past should be my own, right?
Paul sent his greeting to his cousins. If the past was hidden, no longer! “We once shared a jail cell. They were believers in Christ before I was. Both of them are outstanding leaders.” (Romans 16.7) Being jailed and believing in Christ; equal marks of distinction and commendation.
Too often, we hide our past. Do you realize that every step was a step on our path towards accepting or rejecting God? God uses everything in our lives to teach and help us see his face just more clearly. Walking away from these facts does not change our history; it just dampens God's voice and our ability to hear. Is it wrong that I ran from the police when I was seven? I doubt anyone today cares, except of course my pride and me!
God knows your background and mine in more detail than we will ever remember. God anticipated our decisions past, present, and future and responded to their full implications. Yes, God knows that we are saying we do not trust Him. Yes, God understands that we, for the umpteenth time, have rejected a relationship with him. God knows and understands, but God does not accept it as our final answer.
Backgrounds are our paths, regardless of our thoughts about it. God talked to us all the way through; did we ever hear him? God loves you, are you listening now?