Pull up a chair to the table today as my friend Tammie shares from her heart and from Isaiah 43.
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine." ~ Isaiah 43:1
Bob and Tammie and their beautiful family
Here's Tammie ~
One of my favorite books to read to my children is "You Are Special" by Max Lucado. The story is about a small village of wooden puppets all made by Eli the wood carver. The little wooden people in the town put stars on their fellow man if they look good or had a special talent or just had a lot of stars stuck on them. But if they had no apparent talent or didn’t look like everyone else, they would stick grey dots on each other.
One little wooden boy was tired of all the dots he had stuck on him by others. Then he saw a girl whose stars and dots wouldn’t stick to her. When he asked why, she told him to go visit Eli the wood carver, and he would explain it all to him. Eli represents God.
The Biblical truth of this beautiful story is that God loves you just the way you are. He created you with all your imperfections, all your talents and abilities. It simply doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. It only matters that our hearts are humble before Him and that we want to honor and please the Lord.
All the things that frustrate us about ourselves and all the things we like about ourselves, we must surrender them to the Lord. We tend to look at the outward things, but the Lord looks at our heart. He doesn’t see the stars and dots that we place on ourselves or that others try to stick to us. He sees His Son's shed blood. The redemptive blood of Jesus is what He sees when He looks at us.
"For the Lord sees not as man sees:
man looks on the outward appearance,
but the Lord looks on the heart."
1 Samuel 16:7
Am I a good enough mother, wife, friend?
Do I look OK?
Am I overweight?
Am I smart enough?
While it is good to search our hearts before the Lord because we want to honor Him with our whole life, we can't place our comparisons and dissatisfactions on the altar of our hearts and displace our Creator, the One who formed us.
"Fear not, for I am with you...
everyone who is called by My name,
whom I created for My glory,
whom I formed and made."
Isaiah 43:5, 7
I am not an expert in this area. In fact, it is one of the issues with which I have struggled the most. Looking at others and wishing I had their gifts, talents and abilities. Wishing I was "better".
But the Lord is teaching me through His word that I am just who He wants me to be. He alone gives me my strengths and my weaknesses. He transforms me. When I surrender them to Him, He establishes and blesses the things He wants to accomplish in my life. He uses my weakness and my strengths to glorify Himself.
Me sitting here writing this and sharing my heart with you is one of those personal moments of glorifying the Lord. For years, this struggle of comparing myself to others gripped me. I allowed what others thought of me to define me rather than allowing God's truth and perfect love to confirm who I am in Christ.
I am not "just a hair stylist" or just this or just that. I am His child. He has called me to share my faith, to give, to love, to be loved. He wants me to trust in the living God and His plan, not what I see when I look in the mirror or how others define me.
He gently reminds me daily through His word that I need to surrender my will and follow His.
Be encouraged! Whatever His plans are for you, seek Him with all your heart. Ask Him to free you from the untruths that are holding you back. Just like the children’s song, “ I am a promise, I am a possibility. I am a promise with a capital “P”. I am a promise to be anything God wants me to be."
You are God's promise and He loves you.
~ By Tammie Dowd
~ By Tammie Dowd
"But now, O Lord, You are our Father;
we are the clay, and you are our Potter;
we are all the work of Your hand."
"...you will know the truth,
and the truth will set you free.