I thought I knew who I was, a descendant of Irish, German, and English immigrants. But after having my DNA tested, followed by family research, I was surprised to find that some of my ancestors came from Scandinavia and Spain. And upon further search, I believe I have found a Native American connection going back to an Englishman born on American soil in 1680 who married a young Cherokee woman.
Finding out who you are, where your family came from, all that they sacrificed to achieve the dream in America that they carried in their hearts across a vast ocean, can give you a new sense of self and a pride in those who paved the way for you to achieve your dreams in a great land. That identity is determined by your genetic makeup, it cannot be changed. But your identity in Christ is another story, a story whose ending will be determined by you! Like the promises made to immigrants coming to a new and wonderful land, God has made promises to those who choose to follow Christ:
For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we really are God’s children. And since we are his children, we will share his treasures—for all God gives to his Son Jesus is now ours too. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Romans 8: 16-17
For some of us, knowing our family’s history and everything that led to us, is a treasure worth finding. Others may have no interest in what lies in the past. But having our spiritual identity in Christ is a piece of the puzzle that we must not neglect. There will be suffering on the path, just as there was suffering for the traveler of old who faced perils and trial while journeying to a new land, but at our destination we will share in His treasures forever. Home at last!