Every time I watch my two grandchildren, I am reminded that God creates each of one of us special–we are unique, “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Just watching the innocence of little children is refreshing and delightful. The emerging personalities are amazing to observe; the motor skills that develop changing them into little people instead of babies is fascinating–all of this orchestrated by the God of the universe! At two years old, Nora is a social creature that lights up a room immediately with her smile upon her entrance. No one can miss the joy and delight she brings with her. Her words captivate an audience, and her eyes radiate heartfelt exuberance. What a wonder she is! Then there is 6 month old Ezra who will give me his sweet silent smile from across the room when I say his name. He can now sit up with the help of a boppy, and his little hands open and reach out for whatever toy or object is close by. Then with such a natural action, he watches the toy with his eyes as he brings it slowly yet intentionally to his mouth to inspect first hand. These two precious children are perfect examples of the uniqueness of each new person that is born into the world. Even though Nora is very much like her mother in looks and temperament, and Ezra likewise being the smitten image of his daddy, they are each one-of-a-kind individuals. There has never been another Nora or Ezra in the world so far, nor will there ever be again. So I easily, without question, thank God for designing my two grandchildren in the way they are.
I then ponder why it is so hard sometimes for me as an adult to recite, with unwavering belief, this verse taken from David’s Psalm 139. “God, I thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous–how well I know it.” There are days that I do not feel marvelous, I doubt my purpose, I question my worth and grumble because life can be so complicated, or I get bogged down in all the everyday busyness and clutter and fail to acknowledge my Creator.
Over the past five months, I keep “running” into the message that I am one of God’s masterpieces. I believe that I was formed in my mother’s womb–created by the God of the Universe. In Christ, I am a new creature, and a “work” still in progress. Ephesians 2:10 says it beautifully,
” For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
This verse in Ephesians is not unfamiliar to me, but I guess I have needed an affirmation that I still am a masterpiece even at my age, and so we all are even when we change jobs, retire, face unexpected life change, or we personally mess up. It is so straightforward to see the hand of God in a brand new baby or when life is going smoothly with no challenges. What happens as the innocence of childhood fades away into convoluted and demanding adulthood? What is it that we lose sight of even knowing that we are children of God? Why do we question God’s presence being with us when the tough times come? Why is it difficult for me to affirm daily that I personally am fearfully and wonderfully made?
Through this season, I have pondered much on the meaning of being one of God’s masterpieces. It is a humbling concept for me because I know I am not perfect (even though I often feel a need to strive for that “elite” label). With any masterpiece, whether it be a famous painting, sculpture, music, or great literature, there has to be a passion behind it. Without a doubt, God created me and you in His image. His desire is that we follow Him and do the “good things He has planned for us.” He knew that we would never be perfect, but through our acceptance of Christ, we become an ongoing masterpiece of His great love, ever being refined and renewed. Because of His great love, He has given me GRACE through His Son Jesus. Therefore, should I not give myself GRACE in the midst of circumstances that are less than desirable? In other words, I need to accept that God made me the way I am for a reason, and He will continue chiseling away at my imperfections as He sees fit.
It’s really a choice I need to make everyday. I can accept that I am His masterpiece and allow his hands to mold and shape me, or I can try to ignore the fact that without Him there is no meaningful purpose. No matter how hard I try to do things right, I occasionally mess up. Then I beat myself up verbally with the should of’s, and the downward spiral begins until I look up and know that God loves me anyway. He is always there and ready to meet me where I am even when it’s in a low place. I have been bought with a price even though I did not do anything to deserve being one of God’s masterpieces. I surmise that it must be dishonoring to God when we do not believe and accept that. Therefore, giving myself GRACE when I need to is important because anything that negates the fact that I am a masterpiece, gives the message that I do not trust God enough to complete the work He began. He does want the best for me and you and that sometimes means giving ourselves GRACE, taking a deep breath and saying, “It’s OK.”
Matt Redman sings a song entitled “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made.” Part of the lyrics speak volumes about God as creator:
“There’s elegance in all you create/ Your grand designs leave us amazed.
The wonders of the way we’ve been made/ Speak of Your power, tell of your GRACE!”
May God’s GRACE liberate you as you learn to accept more and more His creative Hand in your life.
Just Kathy, seeking to allow myself more GRACE.