Our move to Nashville was uncomfortable and definitely inconvenient. Then just two years later, we moved again. This time 5000 miles away to Hawaii. A beautiful, but isolated, island deep in the Pacific, more than 2000 miles from the mainland. Literally the deep, deep South, Y’all and far, far West, dude.
I left friends…again. Left family…again. Didn’t have any of my familiar “markers” to comfort me…again. Had to find and familiarize myself with new schools, new friends, new culture, new sports leagues, new grocery stores and new doctors…again.
Even more difficult, our kids left friends, schools, youth groups, and sports teams…again.
And once again, God gently began to unearth – like a shovel tilling soil – the areas in my life where I was looking to the wrong things for my security.
It’s hard to see with long-term perspective when you’re hurting and in the middle of difficult circumstances, but through the years, I’ve come to realize that God will always use the shaking, stirring, chipping, molding in my life to build something special. Something of greater worth to God that will bring him glory and be a blessing to others.
You see, God wants to do something in you so He can do something even greater through you.
And as a sculptor chips away at a marble slab to unveil something beautiful hidden within the marble, God will chip, mold, and shape your life to unveil the true beauty of who He created you to be.
Even in the pain.
Even in the loneliness.
Even in the loss.
Even in the uncertainty.
Your story is unique. Your personality and gifts are like no one else’s. In fact, the Bible says, you are God’s workmanship. His masterpiece.
In case you don’t believe me, let’s read Ephesians 2:10 and catch a glimpse of how God sees you. (This is a good one to write down and memorize.)
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
YOU are God’s handiwork, his workmanship. He created you for a specific purpose. All of your difficulties, all of your challenges, all of your struggles can be used for God’s greater purpose. God has an amazing ability to use average, broken people to display his love and power to the world.
Oftentimes, the temptation is to desperately search for what’s missing in our lives and lose sight of what we have been given – the blessing of what’s right in front of us!
In an attempt to rekindle our zest for life and purpose, we go searching for it.
We think, “Perhaps I should get a new job or career?”
Or, “Maybe things will be different if I move to a new city or make new friends?”
Or perhaps, “Should try a new school or get a new hobby?”
And sometimes, this helps.
But most of the time, after awhile, the same problems turn up there, too.
Because the real challenge for us lays not so much in the circumstances around us as it has to do with something within us.
In those moments of confusion, discouragement, monotony and uncertainty its easy to default to looking at the wrong things, the wrong people and the wrong places for worth and value.
But what would happen if, instead of trying to fix our problems by changing our circumstances, we allowed God to change us?
You are of great worth to God. His masterpiece. Do not doubt that. You are not “not enough”, but more than enough because of a gracious, loving and merciful God who desires to do immeasurably more in your life.
In the routine of life, God has a beautiful treasure for you. In your everyday activities, He desires for you to live fulfilled and satisfied. Through the dark and difficult times, He has made his peace and grace available to you.
God wants to rekindle your passion for life, not by necessarily changing your circumstances, surroundings or physical appearance, but by slowly, gently, graciously changing you to reveal your true selfie.
Henri Nouwen, in his book, The Life of the Beloved writes, “The spiritual life is not simply a way of being, but also a way of becoming.”1
Take a moment to consider…
- What are some places or things you look to for your security and worth? Why?
- What things stand in your way from seeing your life as preciously created by God for a unique and special purpose?
- Why is it sometimes easier for us to change our circumstances than it is to allow God to change us?
1 Nouwen, as quoted by Staci Eldredge in Captivating: A Guided Journal(Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2005) p. viii