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They needed her help to save their lives. They were spies. There was no reason she should have helped them. There must have been a nudge in her mind, a whisper in her ear, a quickening of her heart in knowing the Lord. It was almost as if Rahab was just waiting for evidence of God in her own life. She knew He was Lord, telling the spies, “the Lord your God is God of heaven above and on earth below.”
She was all in.
There was no hesitation as she risked her life and was obedient to the conviction of truth in her heart. She agreed to their offer – “Our lives for your lives!” – and she hid them, let them down by a rope through the window, then tied a scarlet cord in the window.
And Rahab was altered. Over the years she continued to live for the Lord. I’m sure she had to learn new ways of building relationships. In fact, these old habits may have been harder to break than lowering spies out of her window. Rehab was tenacious, though, and remained all in.
We know, because in the very beginning of the New Testament, Matthew tells us Rahab was part of the lineage of Jesus. She is not called “the prostitute,” proving that the stigma which defined her in Joshua was completely replaced by the honor God gave her. She was wholeheartedly transformed by the love of God.
The story gets better…by choosing Rahab to be part of the lineage of Jesus, God makes clear that he is the Savior for everyone, at any time, in all circumstances. She is one of only two women mentioned in Hebrews 11. It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.
It is this faith that resonates with me. There was no rational reason to hide the spies, yet she did it anyway.
In turn, this faith transformed her. It is this kind of faith needed to adopt older children. Much like Rahab, they are marred by the world and they learn to survive. They don’t come with a parenting manual, and even if they did, it would be discarded within hours. There is no “right way” to parent any child. Just because they are adopted as older children doesn’t mean a formula has been found. It’s an unpredictable journey.
I never know if I am making the right decisions. Should I extend grace or should I hold tight to the established boundaries? Should I be understanding because I know she’s tired or should I cling to high expectations regardless of the reasons it’s difficult to obey? Should he go to his room or should he cuddle with me on the couch?
Out of desperation, I found the faith of Rahab. I finally realized these children are made for me. They were grown in other women’s bodies, rescued from the darkest corners of the world, and presented to Andy and me as precious gifts from God. If they were made for us, then I was made to be their mother. So even when I know my parenting choices are nontraditional or different from our friends or sometimes in stark opposition to the way I was raised, I’ve found comfort in knowing that I can trust my instincts.
In reality, it’s so much more than instincts. It is faith. Faith in a nudge in my mind, a whisper in my ear, a quickening of my heart, knowing the Lord is leading to restore lives. Success is not getting it right as a parent; success is learning to respond with faith like Rahab’s.