Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Just As I Am

1 Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down,
that the mountains would tremble before you!

2 As when fire sets twigs ablaze
and causes water to boil,
come down to make your name known to your enemies
and cause the nations to quake before you!

3 For when you did awesome things that we did not expect,
you came down, and the mountains trembled before you.

4 Since ancient times no one has heard,
no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you,
who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.

5 You come to the help of those who gladly do right,
who remember your ways.
But when we continued to sin against them,
you were angry.
How then can we be saved?

6 All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

7 No one calls on your name
or strives to lay hold of you;
for you have hidden your face from us
and made us waste away because of our sins.

8 Yet, O LORD, you are our Father.
We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand.

9 Do not be angry beyond measure, O LORD;
do not remember our sins forever.
Oh, look upon us, we pray,
for we are all your people.

Isaiah 64:1-9

God made us just the way we are. It doesn't matter if we are outspoken or shy, quiet or loud, a leader or a follower. God made us the way we are and wants to use us, just as we are. He made us this way for a specific reason. I have heard more than once lately that sometimes we need to step out of our comfort zone to do work for God. And I can't say that I completely agree with that. Sometimes, yes. But for the most part, I don't think so. I don't think that God wants us to change when he made us a certain way. And even more so, God made us this way and wants us to accept how he made us. When you become a follower of God, he doesn't change who you are, instead he changes what you are without him.

Matthew is an example of this. Matthew was a tax collector and very good with money. Without God he would cheat people. With Christ though, he was still good with money, but he used it for God's purposes. Simon was a zealot. He had a strong belief in military might and the strength there. He met Christ, and all that zealousness was put towards a heavenly Kingdom instead of an earthly Kingdom. God didn't change these men's personalities. Instead, he used what they were in a different context.

Self-acceptance will only make you more useful to God. By accepting how he made us, we can let go and allow him to transform those traits into something more useful for our future kingdom in Heaven. There is a place for everyone. Someone who comes across as loud can be used by God as a voice, a way to share his messages for his people. Who better to lead a shy person to Christ than another shy and quiet person? Each and every person is made specifically according to out potter's desires. Our type and shape are all decided before the potter even begins his work to bring us to life. I think it is about time that we accept our unique traits and better use them to glorify God, instead of feeling like it's a struggle to change.


Claire said...

Wow! Thank you. This is something that I hear and know and believe but so often what I do doesn't show that I believe it. I pray that I have the faith to trust God in HIs infinite wisdom to use me the way He created me and give me the ability to accept who He created me to be.

HA! I my word verification has joy at the end!

Erika said...

Thank YOU Claire! It always makes me smile when I know that what God is telling me is there for a reason. I also needed to hear this today, and I love that what I needed to hear, you needed as well. God works in wonderful ways.