"The good news is that we have the good news! We have the ultimate resource, and the most powerful love story of all times, in the Bible. The Bible contains many love stories, but the over-arching story is God’s love for His people. Upon salvation—we are his people. We are daughters of Sarah and sisters in Christ to Rahab, Naomi and Ruth. He has sought us out, sent his son to die a gruesome death as a part of that love and pursuit of us. Upon salvation, however long ago it was or however young you were at the time, our hearts are claimed, and we can be changed." Read on for the final day of Unopened and the challenge that Rachel Davidson leaves us with.
"I know that I’ve encouraged you to be praying about your packages this entire time, but today, I want to introduce a very purposeful way for us to pray for freedom from these heavy boxes." Continue reading as Rachel Davidson begins to conclude Unopened and offers practical advise for removing our unopened packages.
"We’ve established that we all have unopened boxes, and these next three days, we’re going to deal with them directly. It’s taken intentional time and effort to dig out and address our packages, especially those from once-hidden places. As we studied and reviewed the lives of Sarah, Rahab, Naomi and Ruth, we analyzed these women from afar—and in the process, examined our own lives from up close." Read on as Rachel Davidson shares a vivid illustration for handling those unopened packages.
"As Christians, we are called to live, and love, in a way that is counter-cultural. So when we do that, we become rebels—in the very best way." Continue reading as Rachel Davidson concludes the story of Ruth and helps us turn our focus toward God instead of comparing ourselves to others.
"Sometimes we get comfortable, which is not always a bad thing—but when comfortable becomes unhealthy, we need to get uncomfortable. Just because something is familiar doesn’t mean it’s what we should be doing. Ruth got uncomfortable—and God called her honorable, worthy, and virtuous." Continue reading as Rachel Davidson continues the story of Ruth and her much debated encounter with Boaz.
"It wasn’t easy, but Ruth wasn’t called to easy. Neither are we. We are called to obey, to be humble, and often to be brave like Ruth, too." Continue reading Day 13 of Unopened as Rachel Davidson takes us into the life of Ruth and the hard choices she faced.
"Unopened packages of loss are sometimes the hardest to lighten our grip on. A part of us wants to stay sad forever, because somewhere in our grief, we convince ourselves that we don’t want to know a joy-filled life without our missing loved ones in it." Continue reading as Rachel Davidson vividly describes Naomi's journey and how relatable it is for so many women today.
"Christ means for us to live in community with the church, he also means for us to live within it honestly. Sometimes that may look like smeared mascara, tear lines down our blush, and hair that’s been sprayed two days too many with dry shampoo. But you know what, that might be the perfect time to ask a trusted friend over." Read on as Rachel Davidson leads us into Day 11 of Unopened and continues the story of Naomi and Ruth.
"Naomi was alone, devastated, and so incredibly empty. I don’t want us to overlook her grieving and skip right to the point where she told everyone she was bitter. We need to try to get in her head and heart, and relate, sympathize, and have compassion. All that she had loved, taken care of, looked after and felt purpose for in her life was gone." Continue reading as Rachel Davidson shares the tragedy Naomi suffered and connects her story to heartache we might be facing today.
"Are you broken today? Are you experiencing pain that leaves you on the floor wondering how you’ll ever survive? Sometimes pain and unopened packages are because of someone else’s sin, and sometimes it’s our own sin and poor choices, leaving others battered and bruised." Continue reading Day 9 of Unopened as Rachel Davidson takes the story of Rahab and changes her entire destiny.
"In our second day studying Rahab, I want to make sure we cover our bases historically. Rahab’s biblical history takes place in the book of Joshua, after the Israelites escape from Egypt, but before the period of the Judges." Keep reading as Rachel Davidson takes us through a historical walk through the walls of Jericho to and provides background to Rahab's story.
"The next three days we are going to study Rahab. Her reputation proceeds her, and many of us ‘well-behaved-Sunday-School-girls’ get all uncomfortable because we don’t quite know what to make of a woman with a history like hers. And yet, here she is, a part of the story. A part of our story." Continue reading as Rachel Davidson dives into the story of Rahab and connects her story to life today.
"Today, instead of condemning Abraham for his actions, I feel convicted. After a mountain-top experience with God, how many times have I gone right back into my old, unhealthy habits? When God has shown me something beautiful, or put a new desire in my heart, how often have I cowered in fear out of a lack of trust in God’s plan for me?" Continue reading Unopened, Day 6 as Rachel Davidson wraps up the story of Sarah and Abraham and God's perfect plan.
"Waiting has been described as “the most bitter lesson a believing heart has to learn.” Waiting for a new job, waiting for a prodigal to come home, waiting for test results...Longing for a child can be a particularly heavy, unopened package to try to hold. When you are trying to get pregnant, each cycle can feel like a failure or another disappointment." Read on as Rachel Davidson leads into day 5 of Unopened with the story of Sarah and Hagar in the book of Genesis and how this biblical story from long ago can apply to our lives today in a period of waiting.
"The next four weeks (or twelve days) we’re going to do as promised and take a tour through the lives of Sarah, Rahab, Naomi and Ruth....The promised Messiah, long-awaited by the Jewish nation, came about through the bloodline of these four women. Women with packages, with unopened dreams and desires, women who fell hard, who were let down and disappointed, who were isolated, desperate, and lonely, but all women with an inheritance far greater than they could’ve ever imagined. Their faith created a legacy more valuable than any unopened package in a spare closet or fireplace mantel. They didn’t live dreamy, Pinterest-perfect lives, but they are all remembered because of their faith and connection to a baby, the Baby." Read on as Rachel Davidson dives into Sarah's life for Day 4 of Unopened and relates it to life today.
"I’m tired and worn out, but I’m not down. Satan can try to slow me down, but he cannot stop me." Continue reading as Rachel Davidson dives into Day 3 of Unopened and shares a very personal trial and how the Lord is walking along side of her.
"Maybe we can't slow down & enjoy our own lives because we are so busy pretending that what we think is real is really make-believe. If reality looks different than what was planned or expected, we convince ourselves that our true reality is coming right up, waiting to be unwrapped. So we focus our gaze on what we think is supposed to be next. We can't sit still in a peaceful place because our unopened packages occupy the space in our minds instead." Continue reading as Rachel Davidson asks thought-provoking questions that may have hard answers. She utilizes scripture to find biblical truth in order to navigate through these difficult places in our lives.
Imagine with me that the family Christmas tree is now bare, but a few unopened presents remain. These particular packages are different—in each, an expectation, a dream, or desire. All of these boxes are sitting under our tree, hoping to be unwrapped and able to curate a beautiful fantasy-life. I’m sure a lot of us are alike in that our pre-packaged, ideal life is a really sweet one. Prosperous, happy, easy, tidy. Or perhaps life was meant to be adventurous, passionate, and on the go. But these dreams are about us: what excites me, what makes me happy, what is pretty from my perspective. And yet, God never promises easy. How do we miss this, even though it’s right here in the Word? Continue reading as Rachel Davidson starts our new study Unopened.
Throughout our lives, we set up tidy wish lists for ourselves. We plan out and dream up our futures and dreams with great detail. For our study, we’re going to call the individual items on these lists unopened packages.