Friday, January 11, 2013

Day Eleven: Beautiful

The WORD of the Day:

"I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well." --Psalm 139:14

Let Me Give You a Lift:

This passage ranks among the most beautiful praises for God in the entire Bible.  The writer's sentiments are echoed throughout the Bible in other passages that talk about how God made us all (Isaiah 44:24), each as an individual masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10), and He knows everything about us, even the number of hairs on our heads (Luke 12:7).

The words chosen in this passage are worth noting. "Fearfully" used here is the same word used in places where we are told to fear the Lord. It refers to a deep, profound respect and reverence.  "Wonderfully" refers to the uniqueness and distinctiveness of each person created by God. The writer is looking at himself and expressing awe at the care and thought that went into making him who he is.  

The second part of this passage is easy to agree with.  All we have to do is go outside to see the amazing world around us to find something awesome. Mountains, oceans, forests, the constellations--everything is so full of wonder that awe is easy.  It's true for the people around us as well. We can look at our children, or the amazing friends and family members we have and find awe there too.  

But when it comes to me...well sometimes it is harder to find awe there.  We can be very critical of ourselves, from superficial things (weight, height, complexion, etc.) to more fundamental characteristics of who we are (wishing we were less shy, more athletic, talented musically, more intelligent, better at making friends, etc.).  But the same God that made everything else in this world we find beautiful and amazing also made each of us.  Carefully, intentionally, we are who we are. 

Several of my friends are in the habit of writing scriptures on sticky notes and putting them in plain-sight places (mirrors, doors, the refrigerator). That way, when they least expect it--BAM! Encouragement! This passage from Psalms is worth a sticky note for all of us. It's a verse that should be committed to memory and brought out in our weakest moments to remind us just how much we are worth.  Or maybe hidden in our kids' lunch boxes ("I will praise God, for YOU are fearfully and wonderfully made!"), written in cards to friends or notes to our spouses when they need to hear that they, too, are "marvelous".

Give it a Listen:

Today's song is by Jonny Diaz, and it's called "A More Beautiful You."  Last Mother's Day, I sent this around to all my friends with teenage girls (who may need to hear more often than any of us just how precious they are).  But it is a beautiful song about how each of us was made intentionally and with a purpose.

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