We looked through a National Geographic Book that captured some of the most fascinating photographs of landscapes all over the world. They truly inspire and astonish. We recognize that God’s creation is vastly diverse and you can not compare the islands in Greece to the mountains in Wyoming or the jungles in Costa Rica. We don’t expect Norway to look like Australia, nor do we want it to. We respect and admire God’s diverse creation of the world. Then why is it that we think that when it comes to His creation of man, we are unable to be free to be diverse and unique in the details of how He put us together? I want to say to these young girls, “Trust me-life is short-don’t waste your time being anxious over things that don’t matter…there’s so much joy in being YOU. Don’t worry what people think!” It’s easy for me to see that many of the issues the young girls are concerned about, will surely pass in time and they will move beyond the pressures of this season. But, the next season can present new challenges and new doubts. We must continually fight against the idea that somehow we are not measuring up to a certain expectation according to the world’s standard.
Satan knows that once we belong to Christ and have made him Lord of our life, he can’t take us from Him, but he will do his best to render us ineffective for the kingdom of God. One of his tactics is getting us to believe a lie that says we don’t have what it takes to make a difference; to impact; to love well; to influence and share. I can relate. Even now, I must cast out thoughts that I may not be the missionary that others expect. Just like these 6th and 7th grade girls, my heart is yearning to be, “Free to Be Me”. How I love to read about the missionaries that have gone before and lived a life of faith. Their example gives us an imagination of what God can do with a yielded life. It is inspiring. But each story is different. Not one looks the same. How they got there; what they accomplished; their gifts; talents and personalities—all different. There are no formulas. The Lord is writing a unique story for each one of His children. We were created with a craving to contribute.
In Matthew 25:14-30, in the Parable of the Talents, the scripture says that the master entrusted talents to each servant, according to his abilities. The talents are the resources from the master, which are our spiritual endowments that God gives us. And they are given to us according to our abilities and capabilities. The servant that buried his talent had a wrong idea about the master. He didn’t really know him at all. He said he buried his resource out of fear because he knew the master to be a hard man who harvests where he has not sown, and gathers where he has not scattered seed.….” In fear of losing it, he buried it…he declined to work with what the master had entrusted to him. He didn’t take the risk. The master referred to him as wicked and lazy. He didn’t produce, contribute or multiply. That is our mandate.
Do we have a wrong idea of our master? If we know Him, we know that He has equipped us for every good work; He loves us with an everlasting love; He is gracious, kind and slow to anger; He is compassionate and just; and that He is for us and not against us. We also know that He is powerful and His Word accomplishes what it sets out to accomplish. Are we going to work with what we have been entrusted, for His glory? I do not want to be afraid, and bury the resources that have been entrusted to me by the master. I love the way Beth Moore puts it, “We are a masterpiece of emotion, experience, personality, intellect, skill, talent and supernatural gifting, meant to spread benefits of heaven to people on earth.” All of our uniqueness, coupled with God’s spirit and His resources come together to make us profoundly effective! It was part of His plan. So we can stop trying to be someone else and allow Him to be profoundly effective through us for the kingdom of God. What is God asking you trust Him with right now? To risk for the kingdom?
My mom and sister will be here to visit in less than a week and I get giddy just thinking about us all together! There is something about family and being in the presence of the ones that know you and celebrate you for who you are. Even your quirks and idiosyncrasies! The kids and I have been playing some of Mimi’s favorite jams and we know that there will be dancing and celebration, because…. well, Mimi seems to have found the joy of being comfortable in her own skin no matter the setting. She doesn’t feel the need to adjust to fit in. And that’s what we love about her. She gives us the freedom to be ourselves in her presence and it is sooo freeing!!! So there will be lots of celebrating because we value the way God made each person differently and we can find freedom in who He has called us to be.
"I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths
of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
How precious also are Your thoughts
to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I should count them,
they would outnumber the sand."