I keep encountering messages out there, ones that offer us other identities. Knowing ones who try to pigeon-hole. Powerful ones who desire to re-create. Caring ones who say we can re-create ourselves. They speak often.
Over the last months I have been thinking much about who Jesus says we are – “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). He doesn’t demand of us different talents, looks, or position in life. He simply asks us to be who we are – a light. He reminds us to be unwavering and bold. For that is what light is.
And light is wonderful. It doesn’t change – it simply reveals. It enables freedom of choice as it shows up hidden things. It brings God great pleasure and glory.
photo by guilherme-stecanel on unsplash
Moving to another country isn’t easy. It means leaving the familiar. It means letting go of one identity and carving out another.
I experienced this when moving to England as a young wife. I didn’t understand the culture. Every person I met was new. And I wasn’t understood.
But as I walked the city of London in a daze, on every pub I passed, there was the same huge sign – “Take Courage”. Only later did I realise that Courage is a beer, but God used those two words to get me through.
God told a man called Paul, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”* Whatever our transitions, God will give us strength.
Photo by Stacey Shintani on Flickr
I still can’t quite grasp the enormity of how unprecedented each one of us is. No one out there is like you or me. And each of us is unparalleled. No one has ever spoken with my voice. No one else has my heart and mind.
Yet, it is a fragile fact and evaded my grasp for years, because I had concluded that I didn’t matter, that my voice had little worth. But, in the silence of this past year, our individual uncommonness, our unrivalled uniqueness is hitting home.
The Bible puts it so well. “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!” (Psalm 139:14)
Photo by JJ Jordan on Unsplash
At low points in my life I have wondered – how would things have looked if circumstances had been kinder? Would I have turned out more educated, more wealthy, more socially accepted? Would I have become famous?
But then I remember… “This is what the LORD says, he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you: Do not be afraid.” (Isaiah 44:2)
God doesn’t need wealth or things to make us into the people we are. He uses his creative heart. He moulded our bodies and he moulds our hearts. We don’t have to be afraid that we have missed out in life. With God we are enough.
Photo by Samuel Castro on Unsplash