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 (Psalm 139:13-14 NIV).
Friend to Friend
The story is told of a young boy who carved a sailboat from a block of wood. When the boat was finished, the boy raced to a nearby stream, gently slid the boat into the water, and let it go. The boy watched his precious boat gather speed as it floated away. He didn’t realize there was an undercurrent in the stream until the boat was swept away beyond his reach. The little boy frantically searched until there was no light but couldn’t find his boat. With a heavy heart, the young boy headed home.
Several days later, the little boy was walking down the main street of his small town, when he saw a wooden boat in the toy store window. It was his boat! The boy raced inside and came face-to-face with the store owner. “Mister, that’s my boat!” he cried. The owner frowned in disbelief and said, “Young man, I just bought that boat. If you want it, you’ll have to buy it from me!”
Near tears, the little boy ran home, emptied his piggy bank, and ran back to the store, his savings clutched tightly in his hands. He dumped all of his money on the counter and asked, “Is it enough?” The owner smiled and handed him the boat. The little boy cradled the precious boat in his arms and said, “Little boat, you are twice mine. Once because I made you and once because I bought you.”
God loves you. He created you. The words of Psalm 139 beautifully express the heart of God toward each one of us:
“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” (Psalm 139:13-16 NIV).
A healthy self-image is not one of pride or arrogance, but one that coincides with God’s viewpoint. It is learning to accept God’s evaluation of who we are, learning to see ourselves as God sees us, no more and no less, learning who we are in His eyes, and giving Him permission to make us what He designed us to be.
In His eyes, every person is valuable. We are all sinful and broken, wounded and sick, and He loves us still. Jesus is drawn toward brokenness. Broken people are why He came.
God loves you. He paid for your sin. God defined His relentless love for you and for me when He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to earth as a baby. The love of God for us compelled Jesus Christ to willingly exchange a throne for a manger, divinity for humanity, and Heaven for Earth.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV).
God’s love changes everything and everyone who receives it. God’s love protects and breathes life and purpose into every minute of every day.
I know many of you are experiencing those fires of life this year. No job and no prospect of one. Someone you love is very ill or maybe you are the one battling to survive each day. A rebellious child has broken your heart. A secret addiction is slowly destroying your life. Your spouse packed his bags and walked out the front door because he no longer wants to be married.
Do not believe the lies of the enemy when he tells you that your God has forsaken you. God is with you – Emmanuel. He endured the cross, completely and absolutely alone, because He loves you. No one can take your place in the Father’s heart. God knows your pain and He understands. God created you and paid for your sin for one reason alone – He loves you. Not because you are so lovable, but because He is love.
God, I need Your love. My life is filled with scars and wounds that can be healed by Your love alone. I celebrate the love You so freely offer. I accept the gift of Your love and thank You for its transforming power in my life. I love You, Father.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Be honest. How do you see yourself? What words would you use to describe your appearance, your abilities, and your talents? How do you think God sees you?
More from the Girlfriends
When we see ourselves through God’s eyes, the result is pure joy. With this in mind, we can learn to be joyful. Check out Mary’s spiral bound journal, Joy for the Journey. It will help guide you to a place of contentment and joy.
© 2023 by Mary Southerland. All rights reserved.
My appearance in not following through or continuing to develop any ability or talent has crippled me throughout my life. I feel unsatisfied with the eulogy I leave behind. I feel that Jesus says there is still time so I must be about my Father’s business! I desire to be who God wants me to be. Please forgive me and help me Lord Jesus.
I see myself as a work in progress. I am beautiful. I have skills that I have not fully developed. I have a passion to assist people in need.
Lord help me to accept daily that you sent your beloved Son to die for my sins.
Great writing this Morning, Mary and might I say, “Amen!”
Sister Sharon, don’t look at your journey with defeat. Every disciple is going encounter rocks to trip over along the way. Just say a prayer to have God make your valleys rise and have Him flatten the mountains so your travel with Him isn’t always in a struggle. Believe me when I say, I pray like that most of the time. He knows your are trying. Remember, when He looks at you…you are a child…He knows you are building a a relationship with Him.
You are not crippled in God’s eyes. Every little step is part of that bigger, better and even risky journey with Him!
Thank you for this message, Mary. It’s very timely for me.
I am far from perfect in every way. But I try very hard to do everything I do in love. So it really hurts me when my faults are thrown back in my face, as they have been recently. I get a small glimpse of what Jesus went through when the Pharisees could only see the things they viewed as wrong, such as healing on the Sabbath, without seeing the big picture of Jesus HEALING in the first place. I see many faults in myself. I’m sure God sees them, too, but He loves me anyway! Jesus took away the penalty of my sin so I can live in the presence of God. Be blessed, my sisters.
I reside in a Senior’s community. There have been many passings in the place where I reside. To foster some joy and to bring the community together, I began to hostess an event which had formerly been known as Taco Tuesday into a mealtime of joy & laughter, especially catering to the older residents who can’t get out as much. It became really popular. Unfortunately alcohol was brought in and consumption within a group of women took center stage which cast a dark shadow over the work I clearly made known that was being done out of my love for people and to share the blessings that The Lord had bestowed upon me. I have not been vilified because I made the event dry due to how tawdry it had become with this group. They are making it difficult for me to live here in peace. Lots of passive-aggressive behavior. I have since begun a bible study because clearly heard the words “feed my sheep”. So I believe at 65 I am finally walking into where God has me but trust me it is with lots of opposition. Prayers for me and over this group of people, none of which attend the Bible Study.
Thank you for your words of encouragement and for sharing part of your journey with me. I can tell you that this issue is without a doubt one of the hardest struggles of my life. I found myself believing the lies of the enemy, one of which is God loves me when I succeed.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Thank you, Carol, for the wisdom you shared. Sharon, God doesn’t love you because you are so wonderful or successful. He loves you because He is love. Nothing you do or don’t do will ever separate you from His love. You are already who He wants you to be – His.
Bernadette and Mardiece, you both said it beautifully!
Thank you, ladies! I pray God brings healing and hope to us all.