Last night I was reading Imagine by Andre Rabe. I was reading the chapter about how much God loves us. He writes that God loves us NOT in spite of all our faults. NO! He loves us for what He sees in us! God does not see my sin, He sees the goodness – the goodness that He put in me because I am made in HIS image! WHAT JOY! WHAT PEACE! I went to sleep thinking about that!
What does this mean for me, for us?
NOTHING! NO THING! NOT A THING (nada finga) can SEPARATE us from the love of the Father!
We see darkness and shame – He sees pure holiness!
We see blame and anger – He sees gentle acceptance! We see sin upon ugly sin – He sees a heart white as snow!
Can we do that in our own lives! Can we turn the hard, the dark, the ugly around and see these things as He sees them? So, for instance, as I live my, at times, mundane life – working in a dental office as the person who answers the phone, schedules appointments, and takes money for services rendered – can I see it as God sees it. Could I dare to say that my ability to multi-task, to hold-up under the pressure of being in the middle of literally six things at one time, to remain pleasant and gracious in the face of shocked accusation (“How can a filling cost THAT much? I can’t pay that much today!” When I know full well I told them what to expect.) God sees as willingness to work hard, be kind and use my God-given brains and feel proud of me, His child, that He made in His image?
He has made us wonderfully! He sees who HE IS in us! At some point in each of our lives the truth of God becomes our truth – “every knee will bow” – I want to start, RIGHT NOW, living the life that God sees me living, the life He has chosen for me. One that is pure, gentle, kind-hearted. I want that, not to make God love me more, that is impossible, I want that to give God all glory possible! My life, lived to His purpose, gives Him glory!
If you tell yourself often enough that He sees you as good, you will begin to believe you are good because God is good and the more you believe it the more it will become your way of life. What good does it do God for us to go around thinking less of ourselves then we ought? We are making less of His creation! If we believe we are children of the Most High King we will walk with our heads high looking for ways to make our father proud of us by serving others. The opposite is true as well, if we feel we are less then a lowly worm we will only be looking down and waiting for hand-outs, eeking out an existence in the dirt.
I recently watched a video on a ministry that works with prostitutes in several different countries, including our own. It showed how so many women are trapped/forced into a living hell. I didn’t want to watch the documentary at first, who wants to subject themselves to such an ugly sin. But I was soon asking myself who are we to judge these women, not knowing their circumstances, but guessing that for many their lack of self-worth did not help prevent them from falling into such a pit nor does it help them find a way out. I am quick to judge and slow to help! Forgive me dear Lord!
Speaking of that… I was called a “harlot” by a man on a crowded street corner in McCall a few weeks ago. Then he also called me “a Jezzebel” for good measure. It went like this… It was Winter Carnival in McCall, the day of the parade, when 50,000 people line up on Main street to watch the colorful parade go by waiting for candy, bead necklaces, frisbees, water bottles with logos, etc, to be thrown at them. Well, there was a man on a corner holding up a big sign with a condemning verse and calling out “repent or burn”! (That is a short version of what he was saying.) I had walked by him twice and on the third pass I just had to say something. I asked him, “Why do you use that verse? Our God is a God of love! There are so many verses about His love and mercy!” He immediately began to bristle and I quickly moved on knowing that my words were not appreciated. Half way through the intersection I hear him yell out, “I know a harlot when I see one! I know a Jezzebel when I see one!” My first thought was a wish that I could borrow an invisibility cloak and my second thought was to yell back, “I know when God’s heart is grieved when I see it!” Fortunately, there were enough people around, and I had gotten a head start before he spewed his awful words, that my hope was people didn’t know who was the recipient of his poison. Of course, there would have been nothing anyone could have said to him to see my point, which is, it is not our place to judge or condemn anyone, but rather to share the love of God that covers all sins, cleans us white as snow, and allows us to lay them at His feet and walk away forgiven and filled with His love!
May you truly see the love the Father has for you, His beloved child!