Sanctuary, Lord, I find, for my heart and for my mind. Thanks be to you, God, for my salvation. I rejoice, for when I was lost, you found me. Lasting peace, of inestimable value, I now possess. Light, you’ve made all my earthly burdens, that can’t measure with the treasure of you.
The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:9-10 ESV
It’s tough out there, isn’t it? File that under all time greatest understatements. If you aren’t suffering yourself, you surely know many who are. If we weren’t already convinced of our interconnections with everyone else on the planet, we should be now, as we’ve seen how a new virus can impact the world’s physical and economic health with little respect for national boundaries. If you care to involve yourself in the abundance of finger pointing and opinions found on the various news outlets and social media, you can take your pick. However, if you redirect your focus to what God’s word says about the human condition, you will see evidence of mercy, grace, healing, love, and redemption no matter what trouble we find ourselves in. The beauty and challenge of the Christian walk lies in transforming how we automatically react to events to how God would have us react. There is reason to hope for and expect change for the better, but I believe this hope must be founded on the results gained from submission to God and his will for our lives. If we allow God to have his way with us, I believe the value the Holy Spirit adds to us and draws out of us individually will bring a corporate change in our homes, communities, and world.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10NLT
When God proved his love for us by sending his Son to be crucified and then raised from the dead, he settled for all time the question of how much value he places on each human life. Yours. Mine. Everyone we will ever meet. I am convinced God has placed particular value within you. But I am also sure that potential value will die, no one will ever see it, and the world will be the poorer if you do not do the work to seek it out, nurture it, and give it life. Each of us have certain gifts. They do not have to look like someone else’s gifts. Indeed, comparing ourselves to others is often the best way to derail our dreams because it’s much easier to see the end product of success than the muddy failure ridden process which often precedes it. You are not too young. You are not too old. You are not too anything to be exactly what God wants you to be. For God to use your gifts and abilities, no matter how significant or insignificant you may now believe them to be, you must see them through the lens of steadfast faith in his eternal design.
Give me eyes to view myself as you do, God, embracing the ways in which you work. When has the sculpture ever told the sculptor, “No, not there”? Help me mine, like gold the value you know within me Without your help I would never see it there.
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, you are of more value than many sparrows.
Start where you are,
no matter your dread
despite the ruminations
running ’round your head.
You’d like to be ready,
more than you find yourself now,
but God’s got a plan
and he’ll keep the vow
that he’s made.
God’s not surprised,
with God, there’s no lack.
He sees what you don’t see
and he’s got your back.
When you think you’re
or your giant’s too big,
God overcomes your deficits
and ensures all your debts are paid.
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
Matthew 16:26 NASB
Centerpiece, oh Centerpiece,
you have the narcissist disease.
On the table set for everyone and thing,
you must be the middle,
Centerpiece, oh Centerpiece,
You used to share the focus.
You used to share the stage.
Now you bore of the stories
when they don’t feature you.
You don’t even care
if the tales told are true.
Centerpiece without a center
is it you against the world?
Is your’s the only side that matters?
What will be left
of the name you’ve been building
when your reputation’s all in tatters?
Before it’s too late, Center,
move over and let God
take His rightful place in your life.
Turn from selfish deceit
and empty values.
Build a solid foundation
on His Holy Word,
a center worthy of holding on to.
Give away your worship of self and things
Stop collecting and hoarding
every valueless thing.
Give honor and dignity to every being,
all you used to think were beneath.
Instead of trying to be you’ll find who truly is