I would like you to take a few minutes and imagine God looking right at you with a bright smile on His face saying “this is my beloved child in whom I am well pleased“. I am pretty sure you found it hard to imagine that. You must have thought about all the ways you failed and don’t see yourself worthy of such praise.
Interestingly, when God said that to Jesus in Matthew 3:17, Jesus had not begun His ministry yet. He had not been tested by the devil. He had not healed anyone or performed any other miracles. Yet, God chose the moment when Jesus was about to start His ministry to say those words.
There is something for us to learn here. I can hear you say, “well that was Jesus, I am not Jesus“. Well, how about another scenario then.
Think about the first time you held your child in your arms. The little one had hardly learnt to speak, walk or do anything, but you saw the child becoming a success. Your child may make mistakes and will make huge whoopers, but you never lose the vision of the child’s success. You never stop believing in your child and using all the means you have to correct the child and help the child see himself/herself the success that s/he was born to be.
This is how God sees us. We come from Him. How can anything imperfect come from perfection? He built into us what we need to be successful and no matter how many mistakes we make, He knows that what He has purposed in us will come to pass.
The problem is that we don’t see the greatness in us. We only see the mistakes we have made. We see how many times we have let Him and everyone else down. We see ourselves as unworthy of anything, let alone God’s praise. This is evident if you squirmed when I asked you earlier to imagine God smiling and praising you. You may not think like that consciously, but if you would pay attention to your actions and thoughts, you would see that it is true. How many times have you settled for less because you did not feel worthy? Many people chase success simply to feel good about themselves. However, we very quickly learn that no matter how rich we become, how successful we become and how much we get praised, we have this nagging voice in us which keeps saying “we are frauds“. If only others could see the real us, they would reject us just like we reject ourselves. If we don’t keep up this pretense, we will not make it. In so many little ways, we die a little every day just trying to feel worthy.
Today, I want to tell you that you don’t have to do anything to feel worthy. You were born worthy. Worthiness is not something you can earn or lose. It is inherent. It can only be forgotten. We all forget it. We look for it everywhere else except in the right place.
Jesus once said in Matthew 7:9, “who among you if your son asks for bread would give a stone, and who among you would if your son asks for fish would give a snake. If you being so imperfect know how to do good by your children, how much more your Heavenly Father who is perfect“. It is a beautiful object lesson to remember God’s unconditional love for us. No matter, how many times we make mistakes, His love for us will never change. He is the caring father who patiently waits for His loving child to return home, and upon seeing you from a distance, run to embrace you and welcome you. No judgement, just unconditional love. You can never fall from His grace, mercy and unconditional love.
However, it is a gift you have to accept and receive. There is no reason for you to stay in the pig sty or on the cold streets. He waits everyday for you. There is no way you can abandon your child, no matter what the child has done. God cannot abandon you anymore than you can abandon your own child.
Don’t sit feeling unworthy today. Don’t look at how far you have fallen. Stop thinking about the million ways you have failed. There is grace for you to today to start again. Each day you wake up is a precious gift to start again. Each day you wake up is a reminder that He has not given up on you.
He has planted the seeds of greatness in you. He still believes in you. You are His beloved child in whom He is well pleased. He has seen your end and it is beautiful. No matter what has happened, there is always grace for you to start again. It is the only foundation which is rock solid. You can try finding yourself in worldly success, qualifications, riches, relationships and anything else which you think will make you feel worthy, but when the storms of Life hit you (which it will), you will see that you built your life on sand which was washed away by the storm. You were simply chasing the wind. He will keep sending you the storms to wash away faulty foundations because you are just too precious to waste your life away on things that will last but just a moment,
“I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.” – Anne Lamott