Point to Ponder: I am not an accident.
Verse to Remember: I am you Creator. You were in my care even before you were born. - Isaiah 44:2 (CEV)
Question to Consider: Knowing that God uniquely created me, what areas of my personality, background, and physical appearance am I struggling to accept?
That I made exactly this statement in yesterday's blog is probably less some great revelation, and more stemming from the fact that I've started this book and not finished it at least 4 times. Still, as I'm writing and reading today, trying to hurry and spend time with God while Elle is smart cycling and Jake is sleeping, I'm finding it hard to settle down in my spirit enough to really get the revelations of this chapter. As I read through it, and consider the core messages, I find three that really stand out: our lives are not accidental; God does not make mistakes; and God is love, and that is His motivation for creating us.
I am not an accident, and long before I was born, God planned me down to every detail of my being, as well as where and when I would be on this earth. If, as believers, we could let go of all of the distractions, all of the negative self image that we've built up (again, a kind of insidious, reverse pride - thinking of ourselves far too much, because we're focusing on the things we dislike) and just consider this reality...how much more seriously would we take our time on earth, and every single interaction we have with others? Nothing is random. Nothing is without potential value. You are not an accident even if your conception was not planned. You are not an accident even if you have a birth defect of some sort. You are simply not an accident. God intended you to be exactly how you are. Do we pollute the creation with bad choices, like not staying fit? Sure. Is this a license to let poor personality traits continue to develop unchecked? Of course not. As we seek His face and follow His will for our lives through reading the Bible, through prayer, and through wise counsel and fellowship, we have the potential to improve our traits that are the raw materials, the starting points. Still, you are as God made you. I am as God made me...complete with a curvy figure, a sarcastic wit, and loathing for sweat, and a love for cooking. As I seek His face, maybe the reason for these traits becomes obvious. Maybe not. But I am the package that He made to do the work He wants accomplished. And that's just neat.
Another concept that I have to be still and allow to wash over me: God never, ever makes mistakes. How do I reconcile that fact with my daily prayers of "Thy will be done"? I mean, God doesn't make mistakes, except that my dad died when he was 42, right? No? God doesn't make mistakes? Okay. Well, He doesn't make mistakes, except that I can't handle sleep deprivation, and I have two children. What? That's not a mistake either? Um, k. Oh, and He doesn't make mistakes, but my mom, who is a bonafide saint, is having a terribly hard time in her job right now. Nope? And I have a young friend who is about to lose a leg to bone cancer...an amputation! In this day and time of enlightened medicine! Clearly a mistake, because no WAY does the God that I serve allow that to happen. Hmmm...God doesn't make mistakes. Period. Where I am, and what's going on in my life and the lives of those I love...they aren't mistakes. Good will come of every single circumstance. Wow. Sometimes, that's a seriously bitter pill to swallow. But it provides peace, too, doesn't it? Because He's there, ordering what seems like the most chaotic situation...and we know for certain that good will come. Because His infallible word says it will.
The last point I'd like to make has a certainly "um duh" factor, to use very little eloquence: God is love and He is a God of love. He loves us and created us for the very purpose of loving us, and for us to love Him in return. Again, so what? Big deal? Next! But this must be important, because I've noticed something lately. Perhaps I'm coming late to observing the atheist party, but have you noticed how many atheists lately are impugning the reputation of God? I keep seeing accounts of Old Testament history that call acts of judgment "genocide," with no discussion of the back story. There are things in the Old Testament that are tough to stomach through the filter of our day and age; I will not argue there. But Jesus, over and over, discusses God's nature as that of love. He tells us that loving one another is the greatest commandment. So this is something that we should remember and should be considered as our core. That God's nature is under attack makes sense. We should understand the relevance of Satan's attacks.
God is love. He doesn't have love. He doesn't just love; He is love. It is His very essence. He is everything that Paul lists in I Corinthians 13 as love. Because of His love for us, He did the unthinkable, and allowed His son to die to reconcile us back to Him. How can those that don't acknowledge that God exists...love? What is there definition, I wonder? I'm about to spend some time with a self professed atheist...perhaps we can discuss the point. I'd be interested to know his thoughts.
In the meantime, I hope that you really allow this fact to sink in today. You are not an accident. You are not random. Neither are your talents, attributes, physical characteristics, surroundings, family ties, etc, etc. Reject the popular notion that it's all random, all coincidence. Consider that it isn't; that your existence (and mine) is ordered and for a reason. To do something. To be something. But above all, to love God and be loved by Him.