In my Sunday School Class we are studying, “The Story” written by Randy Frazee. I do believe this is going to be a good study.
The book begins in Genesis 1. Last week we talked about creation, Adam and Eve and a few other stories found in Genesis. There is a lot in this chapter, but one thing stood out for me. In the first chapter Ralph suggested that God looks at us and says, “Looking at you is better than an ocean view…or watching a sunrise. How does that make you feel?”
He couldn’t have done any better. One of my favorite places to be (next to visiting my children and grandchildren in Indiana) is by the ocean. I love sitting next to an ocean the first thing in the morning. Several years ago we went with my daughter and her husband’s family to Florida. It was during one of those times I was really feeling God speaking to me. I was reading a book at the time that was stretching and pulling at my faith. I would get up early and go sit on the bench early in the morning and just watch the water. I loved it. I could have sat there all day. God and I had some wonderful conversations.
There are times when we travel back to Indiana. Since my husband doesn’t like flying we often drive. My husband is notorious for getting me up at some awful hour and getting on the road; most of the time I am asleep as soon as we get in and settled down. There have been a few times Greg has stirred me to see the sun rise. I can honestly say I have seen more sunsets than sunrises. But, the ones I have seen are always awesome. I can remember as a youth in church camp we always had to get up and go out by the lake early in the morning and watch the sun come up as they did morning devotions. As much as I hated getting up at that time in the morning I loved watching the sunrise behind the minister. The song we always sang was, “This is My Father’s World.” That just started the day for me.
Both of these are beautiful times when we can certainly see God’s handiwork in his creation. To think God would rather look at me than either one of these situations is beyond anything I can imagine. I bet your thinking the same thing.
At this time in my life I certainly don’t feel beautiful. I have been dealing with my face breaking out for over six months. I have tried to fix my breaking out in several different ways. When that didn’t work I gave up and went to the Doctors. The Doctor has had me on two different medications and she thought she knew what was wrong with me; when neither one of the medicines worked she suggested a Dermatologist. Right away he diagnosed me with Rosecea. He has me on two creams and a pill. Now I am not telling you this for sympathy. I am sharing this with you so that you will understand why I can’t believe God would think looking upon me instead of a sunrise or an ocean view would be better. I just don’t feel like I compare to either one of these scenes. I would much rather watch a sunrise or see the ocean than to look at myself in the mirror.
There have been other times that I have thought God could have done better creating me. I have always found something to criticize myself about. My nose is a little larger than I like thanks to my Indian heritage. I have grown to be fluffy instead of the skinny kid I used to be. I now have foot problems and oh…the list could go on. So, why would God like to look at me when there are other things much better to look at?
Well, for one thing He created me. He loves me just the way I am. He is proud of the work He created. I realized a long time ago He’s so much better at creating things than I could ever be. I have mentioned before I was never an art student. When I was in school we always had to work with pottery. I created something. I’d take it home and my mom would love it (as any good mother would) and be excited I had made a (then she would name what she thought it was)……and then I would have to say, “no, Mom it’s supposed to be a (whatever I thought it was). After awhile I realized art was not my expertise and I couldn’t create anything. I decided I’d let God do the creating.
Somewhere along the journey of life (probably during my teen years) I remember liking myself even less. I remember grumbling about this and that. I believe it was a minister that taught me when I grumble about myself I am complaining to God about how awful He was at creating things. In fact, I was insulting God. He asked me if I thought I could do any better at creating things. Remembering my pottery I was sure I couldn’t do better.
Psalm 139:13-14, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” God created me. He knit me together in my mother’s womb. I am made by God and His works are wonderful. How many of us would be willing to stand before God and say, “Well, you really messed up this time. You were on a roll, but when you got to me you missed the boat.” I have a healthy respect for God and I am not about to tell God He messed up. Instead, I need to start appreciating His creation a little more than I do, not only my physical body, but I need to appreciate the things around me and not take them for granted.
1 Samuel 16:7 says “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” When God looks at our heart and sees we are unhappy about our appearances then our heart isn’t in line with God’s heart. If we want to truly be in line with God then we will learn to love ourselves and accept we are special in God’s eyes.
Finally, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 1 Corinthians 6:19” Our bodies whether we like them or not is God’s temple and He lives in us. How many of us would actually make fun of a temple? How many of us would disrespect the one place God lives? God lives in us if we have accepted Him and if He lives in us then we need to respect and love the temple that He lives in.
So, how does it make me feel to know God would rather look upon me than a beautiful sunset or an ocean view? It makes me feel pretty special and it humbles me to think I am that special. It also reminds me I need to appreciate what He sees in me.
There have been times we have all disliked something about ourselves. When we get that way we need to remember God doesn’tmake junk, He makes everything beautiful. We need to get away and sit by the ocean or get up and see a beautiful sunrise and then remember we are more beautiful in God’s eyes and He’d much rather look upon us than either one of these things. I have said in the past we need to see others through God’s eyes, but if you’re like me sometimes we need to see ourselves as God sees us; a beautiful creation and a place where He can reside so He can do some of His best work through us.
God doesn’t love us any less if we have large noses or crooked teeth or we walk funny, or we have Rosecea or fluffy bodies. He loves us just the way we are. Next time we look in the mirror let’s see what God sees; the beautiful work of God’s hands. God reminded me of a song Joe Cocker once sang, “You are so Beautiful.” Here is a suggestion: find the song on the computer, your tablet or whatever you play music on, then close your eyes and listen to the song as if God was singing it to you. You and I are beautiful and God loves us.
Dear God: I am so sorry when I make fun of your creation, or I spend time complaining about how you made me. You made be beautiful in your eyes and I really do need to appreciate it in so many ways. Thank you for beautiful sunrises and ocean views. As I watch the sunrise or see the ocean view remind me I am so much more important to you. Thank you for your love. Amen.