Whoa – what! Of course, we would never dream of doing such a thing – would we? Certainly not intentionally or deliberately, but sometimes we do it without fully realizing that is what we are doing.
We agree that God created each of us, and created us for a purpose – yes? Do we also agree that He created us the way we are so we could fulfill the purpose for which we were created? He placed us in the family, in the location, in the church, with the skills and talents and giftings we each have, because those elements, even as they may change over time and as we learn and grow, contribute to who we are and prepare and equip us for the ministry or purpose He created us for. I’m 5’10” tall, have blue eyes and dark blonde hair, and am – and have been most of my life – overweight. I am good with handicrafts, skilled in many I have learned and engaged in over the years, am also a good cook, an animal lover, and a pretty good listener and communicator, among other things. I have moved around a lot in my lifetime, grown up as a preacher’s kid, worked in many different fields, lived in the U.S,. and visited England, the Bahamas and other Caribbean islands (can’t remember if that cruise was in the Leeward or Windward islands), Brazil, and El Salvador. I have 3 siblings, just recently lost my father, my mother is still living, all 4 of my grands have been dead for a while, have a wonderful husband and great in-laws, both parents and sibs, and friends in several states and countries. Most of the time I have no clue how most of those facts and experiences have contributed to my witness and testimony and how they have and continue to equip me for whatever God has planned for my life – or even, most of the time, how God has already used me in the past.
I’m frequently not very happy about one or more of those many facts and experiences I have had, and, if you have read many of my posts, you will recognize that I have had and continue to have self-esteem issues and struggle with believing in myself. One of my big issues has long been related to my appearance. I am overweight, and pretty much always have been, no matter how I try to lose. I was a late bloomer as regards boys and dating, not having my first real date until I was in college, which certainly didn’t help me to view myself as pretty or attractive, no matter what my parents always told me. Through the years there have been many occasions when I didn’t like one or another aspect of myself, believing that “if only – fill in the blank – were different”, or “if only I wasn’t – fill in the blank”, things would be better, I could be happier, etc. At some point it finally occurred to me – probably from a teaching I attended or read in a book (I don’t remember where I gleaned it from) – that, whenever I wallow in that sort of self-rejection I was dishonoring God’s opinion of me and His view of my value!
When God created the world and all that is in it, He declared it Good, and Very Good – that includes you and me, because we are a part of His creation! And if He DID create us, exactly as He intended, to prepare and equip us to accomplish His purposes with our lives, HOW can we view ourselves as “not good enough”, in whatever way we are struggling with?! How can we say He didn’t do it “right” some way or other, because we don’t like something about how our lives have gone or where we come from or what family we were given, and so on? True, sometimes circumstances in our lives do not come from God. Sometimes the enemy of our souls manipulates things to create problems, and hurtful experiences, and brings destructive people and experiences into our sphere that impact us in negative ways. However, we must always remember that, even though God didn’t create that painful or destructive experience, He can and will USE it for our good in the end, if we let Him.
We are His creations, His beloved children, His pride and joy. When we view ourselves otherwise, we are calling Him a liar – or a fool, for loving to distraction someone who (in our negative view) isn’t lovable or good enough or worthy of His loving regard! I don’t know about you, but when I realized that – and I still have to remind myself, a lot – I felt the fool, and ashamed. Who am I to say that what God has created for His glory and to please Himself is ugly, or not good enough, or too – whatever it is that I’m hating about myself or my life at the time? That isn’t how He feels about it, and He knows far more about it than I ever could! (I’m not talking about guilt for sinful behavior or choices here, that’s a whole different issue. I’m talking about the self-hate or inadequate type feelings that we all have regarding things we have little or no control over, whatever the particular issue may be for you.)
Father, forgive me for my blindness and limited vision. Forgive me for trying to second-guess You and thinking that I know “better” than You do how I should look, or think, or be, or have. Forgive me for knocking down that which You created and died for – me, with all my faults and foibles. You created me the way I am, put me where You want me to be, gave me the gifts and talents I need to have to fulfill Your purposes in my life, and You work with me to guide and direct how I grow and change, so long as I allow You to do so, to further prepare and equip me for what You have planned for my life, as Your child and servant. Thank You for Your gracious gifts and Your incredible patience with my stubbornness and shortsightedness – and sometimes willful blindness! Continue to work in my heart and spirit to enable me to see and embrace Your truth in and for me, and to see myself as You see me, so I can worship and serve You joyfully in Spirit and in Truth. In Jesus’ precious, and holy name, Amen.
As you read my prayer, I don’t know whether you were led to join me in repentance and seeking forgiveness or not, but if you did, know that He always hears our hearts’ cries. He is love and patience personified. We can rest in that assurance, and know that our lives, and our futures are in His hands, where they belong.
Blessed to be a blessing,