The King is enthralled by your beauty
While I was growing up, my dad always called me his little angel. I was beautiful in his eyes, and it made me feel special. And even though he died a few years ago, far too young in this life, I still wake up at night hearing his encouraging and compassionate voice. Do I miss him? Yes. Long for him? Yes. Am I encouraged by him? Always. In my heart and in my spirit.
I have taken a while to understand how much my Heavenly Father loves me. He loves far more deeply than my earthly father ever could. We are precious in His sight.
I know sometimes this is hard to believe, especially if you don’t feel beautiful or didn’t have a dad telling you how beautiful you really are. You might be thinking, Nothing is special about me.
But I beg to differ. Everything about you is special. The way God made your eyes to see hurting people around you. The way you laugh. Your compassion and tenderness. God loves the way you cry out to Him when you are on your knees in prayer. The way you think. The gentle way you’re able to encourage other people. Or the way you listen when those around you need to talk. How you’re able to whip up dinner from scratch or bake twelve dozen cookies without breaking a sweat. Your willingness to work in the nursery at church when no one else wants to. Your ability to comfort the grieving. Your courage in making tough decisions in the face of adversity.
You are precious in His eyes because He created you a certain way, with matchless abilities and special gifts. You are wonderfully made and uniquely gifted. The Bible is clear about this:
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:13-16).
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given us” (Romans 12:6).
Ponder the above words. I am fearfully and wonderfully made….When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be….We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.
You are beautiful in God’s eyes. Your Creator saw your unformed body before you came to be. All your days were written in God’s book before you even lived your first one! This means that God knew what your strengths would be as well as your weaknesses before you were even an embryo. He knew what skills you’d possess and what you’d be lousy at before you reached your first trimester of life. And He knew what you’d be passionate about and couldn’t care less about before you took your first breath. In fact, friend, He’s the One who placed all those likes, dislikes, skills, abilities, and passions in you in the first place. He designed you.
And because He designed you, He watches you. He sees the things that you think go unnoticed. He sees you when you give selflessly and you’re not in the spotlight. He sees you when you’re faithfully tucking your kids in bed late at night. Giving an encouraging word to a friend who is broken. Comforting your sick husband. Cooking dinner for your family religiously every night. Even though you’re not recognized with the accolades of the world, God is so pleased with your faithfulness that your plaques are being designed in Heaven.
“When you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men… But when you do a charitable deed…[do it] in secret and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly” (Matthew 6:2-4, NKJV).
Maybe your reward will come through your kids. Maybe through your marriage. Maybe through that special someone who will rise up and call you blessed for His special sake. Regardless of the way, you will be rewarded openly! So keep walking with Him.
Why would God take all the time necessary to craft you in a way that makes you one-of-a-kind if He didn’t have plans to use you in a special way?
From a young age, most of us are trained to be humble and not brag. Miss Manners is right—no one wants to be around an egotistical braggart—but in our childhood we often start focusing more on what we can’t do rather than what we can do. When that happens, our beauty is hidden and our uniqueness gets lost. Unfortunately, many of us don’t rediscover our uniqueness until adulthood—and often only after an intense, purposeful, and prolonged search. Tragically, some never find it again.
If you’ve forgotten how beautiful you are and if you cannot hear your Father’s voice encouraging you and compassionately whispering to you how wonderful and uniquely gifted you really are, now is the time to listen again. Now is the time to rediscover the qualities God placed in you before you came into being. Those are the qualities God wants you to use so that you can live His dream for you.
As you begin to focus on what you’re good at and what you love to do, you may have to deflect negative self-talk such as this:
• What makes you think God made you special?
• Other people have talents, but God missed you when giving them out.
• Focusing on what you’re good at will just give you a big ego. Better not to focus on them.
• Identifying what you’re passionate about won’t change anything. You’re still stuck in a dead-end job.
• Not everyone can live a life bigger than what she dreamed. What makes you think God has that in mind for you?
• You’re too ___________(fat, dumb, overeducated, undereducated, selfish) for God to use.
These are some of the lies we tell ourselves and that society tells us—often to keep us in “our place.” But where is “our place”? I believe it’s where God has called and created us to be. Many of us have allowed these lies to keep us where we are. We haven’t dared to dream that God placed our unique skills and abilities in us in order to help us take our rightful place in the plan He created especially for us.
If you’re one of the lucky ones and are already living God’s dream for your life, be thankful. And pledge to encourage a friend to keep looking for her own God-designed niche. If you’re floundering and frustrated in your search for God’s plan for your life, consider that though His dream for you is likely bigger than you imagine, He may use you in small ways to live it. The humble skill of being a good listener may, in fact, save someone else’s life. Your gentle touch may offer hope to one who is ill. Your willingness to forgive a friend may be the catalyst that starts her on the path to self-forgiveness. The hug you shared with a neighbor last week may have been just enough to encourage her to continue to work on her marriage rather than giving up on it.
In other words, though God’s plan for you is big, you may be called to live it out in small, seemingly unextraordinary ways, using skills and abilities you don’t think are all that special or unique. But remember, this is God’s economy we’re talking about, not ours.
The skills we’re called to use may not be extraordinary. But the way we use them can lead to surprising results. Only when you truly know you’re created in His image and you see yourself as beautiful in His eyes can you come to appreciate and fully assume the gifts He’s given you.
In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we're talking about is Christ's body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn't amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ's body, let's just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren't.
If you preach, just preach God's Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don't take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don't get bossy; if you're put in charge, don't manipulate; if you're called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don't let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face (Romans 12:1-8,MSG).
Each of the skills (also known as gifts) referred to in Romans 12 are pretty ordinary: teaching, encouraging, and leading. The way you to use these gifts makes them unique.
If you haven’t already found your gifts and decided how to use them, now is the time.