>> Wednesday, February 17, 2010 – Faith
I've had a tiny problem lately.
Now that God has given me a tiny sliver of a glimpse of his Awesome Mightiness, I've also seen myself more clearly. I'm left feeling like a tiny speck of nothingness. I mean NOTHINGNESS. How can I look to God and feel like I am anything at all? I can't.
I've been struggling lately with feeling overwhelmingly down on myself. Too ordinary, too boring, too big, too ugly, too inadequate, not enough of what I should be with nothing of value to offer anyone. And worse yet, I've felt like I have nothing to offer God. How can God love me or want anything to do with me?
These thoughts have had me paralyzed.
Through all of this, I've seen clearly just how I've bought into one of the greatest lies of all...the oh-so-popular teaching of having "self-confidence." Heck, there are entire sections of bookstores and libraries filled with "self-help" books designed to boost our self-confidence and ability to live our best life!
Self confidence? Confidence in myself when I'm made of dirt? MY best life...when I've seen a bit of the hands who fashioned me? Confidence in my ability to be a great wife and mother when I'm so selfish? Confidence in my abilities, when they're a gift and not really of me at all? Confidence in my ability to do anything grand with my life at all...when I can't even seem to bring myself to stop shoving food into my mouth when I'm full?! Impossible!
It's easy to fall into a dark slump of discouragement and disappointment in the revealing light of God's glory. Lord...what are you trying to tell me? Surely, you didn't bring me to this pit to leave me here?
On the other hand, I am not called to feel lousy about myself. I'm called to a joyous, peaceful, prosperous life (prosperous by God's standards, not ours). In fact, I am called to be confident... bold even!
How can I reconcile my calling to be joyful and peaceful with the realization that I'm but a withering blade of grass...here today and gone tomorrow? How to be both properly humble before God AND joyous and confident?
If I look at this dilemma from a purely logical standpoint, it just doesn't seem to fit. Something is wrong. Something is missing. On my face in fear before God, and yet confident? Humble, yet bold? Mourning my sin filled nature, and yet joyous?
Do you see it? Do you see what's wrong? Either I misunderstand who God is, I misunderstand who I am, or I misunderstand how I am to live.
There is only one conclusion...and it's been in right under my nose all this time! Truly, some things are of a spiritual nature and I need the help of the Spirit to make it clear to me.
God is mighty and awesome...the source of all good things.
I am made of dirt and fashioned by God. I have nothing good in me except what He's seen fit to put in me.
And so...I am humble AND confident.
I am grieved AND joyous.
I am empty AND filled beyond measure.
I am ugly AND beautiful.
I have nothing to offer AND everything to offer.
Oh, I'm not getting these thoughts out straight!
The bottom line is this:
I am aware of my insignificance as my natural self. But now that God...GOD ALMIGHTY...is working in and through me, I am completely significant. I can shout from the rooftops: "I AM BEAUTIFUL, TALENTED, WONDERFUL" without even a hint of pride or arrogance...because I recognize that I am beautiful, talented, and wonderful only because of God's work in me.
I am confident in His ability.
I am bold because the Spirit of God's own Truth lives in me.
I am beautiful because the very hands of God Almighty made me just like this. In fact, to proclaim that I am ugly and nothing is for me to turn to God and say "Hey, you're doing a lousy ugly job."
(Have you noticed how God's truths are so often the opposite of what we've been taught to be true? This is no different...to say that I am beautiful is humility in the light of God's work in me...to say that I am ugly is prideful because I assume the position of having control of my own beauty! I am GOD'S work.)
I don't only have "something" to offer the world...I have *everything* to offer because God is working through me and HE has everything to offer.
And finally...how can God love me? How can he want anything to do with me when I'm a pile of worthless clay? When I have nothing to offer him?
This is the BEST part...are you ready for this?
God does not love me because of who I am. He loves me because of who HE is.
Like a mother who loves her child before the little one can do anything grand with his life...before he can even utter a word of his love for her...before his eyes are mature enough to even properly see his mothers face...even while he is making a mess in his diaper! She loves him and nurtures him and cares for him because it is a natural part of who she is as his mother.
So it's true that I don't have anything to offer God, and yet he loves me.
I haven't done anything to earn his blessings, and yet he blesses me.
I am vulnerable and unable to save myself from destruction, and yet he saves me.
Not because it's in my nature to deserve his love, blessings, and salvation....Because it's in his nature to love, bless, and save.
Praise God, oh my soul!
PS. God has worked mighty things in me lately. How, you ask? Why now? I'll tell you how - he brought me to the fearful brink of unbelief by taking a child from her parents. Her name is Ruthie Mae Sanders...and the work that God is doing in my life is a small part of her legacy. Thank you, Ruthie.