Therefore, remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh‒who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands‒that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
No one expected a poor child from the back country to become more than a poor adult from the back country. She was the seventh of nine children, and they barely made it by. She had dreams of leaving that place and living how she thought everyone else lived, but even she thought that those were just dreams. Fortune would shine on her, however, and she would make it out of that low country and almost forget what life had been like in those early years. On returning home every decade or so, an uneasy sentiment would rise within her. What she saw in those backwoods were not her people but those with whom she no longer could identify. Without being compassionate or even cordial, she would come and go from that place over the years without the thought that perhaps a young child as she once was might need a little something from her.
I remember my parents telling us stories of their years living as children in the mountains of Puerto Rico. Before long, the stories all sounded the same, and I lost the excitement of hearing them for the first time. Yet, my parents never stopped telling those stories because they thought it was important for us to know where we come from. It is the same for those of us who once were enemies of God but now call him our friend. We thank him for the new creations we are, but we cannot forget who we were before him. We cannot look at others who are now where we used to be and think that we are that different or better. When we set our eyes upon those still living in the bonds of deception, we should see ourselves. Remembering who we used to be should move us to compassion and hope for those people. We have made it through and have found our Savior, and we should desire the same for them.
We have heard millions of times that we should count our blessings. Even if we can think of no other blessings to consider, we at least can think upon the greatest blessing we ever could receive. If we have the hope of salvation and eternal peace in God’s presence, it is enough to count that blessing over and over again. We cannot reminisce enough about the work that the Son has done in order to give us full and unobstructed access to the Father. Remember that you once were nothing like him and nowhere near him. Remember that He called you forth first and then began changing you to his image. Remember that your story and journey can be replicated in the many lost souls that you touch. Father, remind us daily of this great blessing You have given us through Jesus Christ, and prompt us to pay this forward.