I really do not know how the stuffed panda got on the roof of the garage.
It was late October and the boys had been playing outside for quite awhile when I looked out the window and saw all five of them staring up at the roof of the garage. There, lying peacefully on the top of the roof, was my four year old’s stuffed black and white panda bear.
While none of the boys would claim responsibility, they were all eager to be the one to retrieve it. This task proved to be more difficult than any of them imagined and soon even my husband was taking part in the rescue effort. For the next several minutes I watched with amusement as they all took turns throwing objects up at the panda, hoping to knock it off the roof.
As time went by and the objects continually missed their intended target, I began to wonder if there was any hope for the panda or if we would have to leave it stranded on the roof until the wind eventually knocked it off.
Do you feel as if you are stranded on the roof of a garage? Do you wonder if there is any hope for you . . . if you will ever be rescued from the situations that hold you captive . . . the painful memories, the sordid past, the accusing thoughts?
I wonder if Rahab felt stranded.
She certainly had every reason to. A prostitute in an ungodly town, Rahab listened to the reports of the foreigners with great interest. These foreigners served a God different from any she had ever heard of before . . . a God who exhibited true power and authority, yet who also cared for His people. Would this God also care for her? Would this God give her a second chance at life . . . a chance to start over and rid herself of the sins of her past?
When the spies showed up at her door, Rahab took a step of faith that would change the path of her life forever. Rahab hid the spies . . . on her roof.
It was on the roof where Rahab took another step of faith, asking the spies to spare her life and the lives of her family members. The spies agreed to protect her and her family so long as she hung a cord of scarlet thread in the window of her house. She hung the cord, the Israelites marched around Jericho, the walls came down and Rahab and her family were spared.
Rahab. The prostitute. The one with the horrible past. The one who, just days before, seemed to be stranded in her life of sin.
And the one who eventually ended up in the genealogy of the Messiah.
I can’t remember how much time passed before the panda was freed from the top of the garage. I do remember, however, the celebration that ensued the moment the panda dropped to the ground. And I will never forget the way my four year old reached down and picked up the panda, wiping off the dirt and wrapping his tiny arms around the stuffed animal. How the panda became stranded in the first place was no longer important. The panda was free – and the panda was loved.
Will you allow Jesus to free you? Will you, like Rahab, take a step of faith and trust Him to remove the stain of your past, the guilt of your sin, the fears, the pain, the hopelessness?
I do not know how long you have felt stranded or how you even got there in the first place. But I do know that, when Jesus frees you, there will be a celebration unlike any other. Jesus will pick you up, wipe off the dirt, and wrap His arms around you. How you became stranded will no longer be important. You will be free and you will be loved!
“By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.”
Hebrews 11:31 (NASB)
I pray that you will surrender to Jesus and experience His rescue today!