The question is – who knows me? I have met those who told me I was not enough. They vowed that they could remake me… Sadly, I trusted them.
But there was always another voice calling out, one that took me years to hear. For, “This is what the Lord says – he who created you…, he who formed you…: ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.'” (Isaiah 43:1) How I cried when I finally grasped that I had been following the wrong creators. But God picked me up and hugged me. He said, “Do not fear.”
And as I have gone on with him, I am relearning who I am. For God made me, not factory-style, but hand-made. He knows me.
Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash
For decades I shut my imagination down. Life was too busy, too intense, too serious. I forgot what it was like to walk down a disused railway track and dream of travel, of doing unbelievable things. Riding a comet. Flying over mountains like the wind. Seeing God.
I forgot that in the beginning God imagined the earth, sea, and stars. He spoke and they came into being. I forgot he imagined you and me, and made us with his hands.
God also made us with imaginations, and he wants us to develop them. The Bible says, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” (Ephesians 3:20) Let’s use our hands to create unimagined things. Let’s speak out unimagined words. Let’s imagine them all with God.
Derek bought me a hat, a green one with a bow in the back. We both like it, but others have not been so positive. “You look eccentric!” “You really look funny!” And the best one.. “Your hat looks like a lily pad!”
I appreciate the honesty. But… there is a wonderful verse in the Bible. It says that God “has made everything beautiful in its time.”* We don’t need to worry about opinions. God created beauty to stand out as different, for that is what beauty is. Each of us is beautiful, regardless of our peculiarities.
I still wear my hat, and when people meet me, they nod and smile. They even stop for a chat. My lily-pad hat might be eccentric, but so is God’s love.
* (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
A salesman telephoned a few days ago. “Are you Mrs. Leaf?” he asked.
My guard went up. “No!” But then it hit me. What was I saying? I am Mrs. Leaf. I have been for 30 years. “I mean, yes!” I said.
The salesman paused in that “Then, who are you?” kind of a silence.
“Mr.” I corrected. “I mean, Mr. Leaf. No! I’m not him. I’ll go get him.” The salesman started chuckling, but I sent up a prayer, right there on the spot. “God, why do I always say the wrong thing!”
An answer came back fast, just like a pingpong ball. “I made you this way. I created you for my glory.* Embrace it.”
Do you have quirks? Let’s celebrate!
Parents might think their children belong to them. They might think children are there to make them happy. But that only turns children into possessions.
One father in the Bible said something different. “These are the children God has graciously given…” (Genesis 33:5) He realized that every child is not a thing to be possessed. Children are a gift from God, to be treated with respect.
God added his perspective for parents. He said, “All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.” (Isaiah 54:13) God is our children’s principle teacher. Let’s listen to what God is teaching and affirm that to our children.