Did you know that God designed you? Your character traits and life story are brimming with purpose. (Hebrews 12:1-2). We are in danger of ignoring, and even insulting (!), His sovereignty and creativity by saying or living otherwise.
Before your mother was even aware that you were growing in her womb, God was thinking of you. (Psalm 139:14-18). He took time to illustrate and sculpt you, making an adaptable, resourceful, ever-changing and ever-growing masterpiece. God launched you into destiny on your birth date and, ever since, you were being trained and equipped for your future. (Proverbs 22:6). Your every trial and tragedy is for a greater purpose. One day, your future self will revel in the clever unfolding of His plan for you. At some point along the way, you’re bound to get stuck in the quicksand of “who I am not, but should be”. Christ living in you redefines you as “who I was, am and will be”. Things that you perceive as weaknesses can give God glory in so many ways. Did you know that his grace is sufficient for you and that His power is made perfect in your weakness? (2 Corinthians 12:8-10).
“Look at the world and you will be oppressed. Look at yourself and you will be depressed. Look at Christ and you will be at rest.” – Corrie Ten Boom
God alone gives us grace, which I will attempt to abbreviate as: unmerited favour and divine empowerment. Four (4) is considered the number of creation/creatures and Five (5) is considered the number of grace in the bible – keep a pin in this for now. In 1 Samuel 17, all able-bodied males were enlisted to fight in the Israelites vs. Philistines end-of-season showdown. David was too young and scrawny for battle and stayed home, tending to his usual shepherd chores. His father Jesse (Boaz’s grandson) instructed him to bring his brothers grains and cheese to strengthen them for battle. His brothers were so stressed out that they took out their frustration on him. David disregarded their discouragement and boldly demanded Saul for an impromptu interview, highlighting how his bear-and-lion-fighting skills would be useful to defend God’s people against this bigger monster that dared to oppress them.
When David faced Goliath, he had a slingshot, five stones (the number of grace) and the wisdom/knowledge to target a soft spot on Goliath’s #bighead. David was the little guy. The underdog. The bony weakling who was always picked last for teams during shepherd-school recess. With God’s grace, he defeated his giant (see what I did there) and eventually became king over Israel! I am relieved that David chose to use the 5th stone of grace, instead of first trying the other four in his own limited strength ; ) So many of David’s Psalms are a word-painting of the human défi quotidien [daily struggle] to trust in the Lord and to “be still and know that [He is God]” (Psalm 46:10). Your weakness or your perceived fault can be used as an area of strength if you submit it to God.
If you allow God to use you, you will discover that His grace is unquestionably strategic and impeccably tailored for every situation.
Let’s not forget about biblical sheroes (female heroes, it’s a word!) When God promised Sarah a son during her old age, Sarah tried to remind Him that her womb’s retirement party was like 50 years ago – she very sadly laughed it off. On the other end of the fertility spectrum, Mary was initially convinced she couldn’t be a mother yet, let alone to the Messiah Jesus. The Saviour’s birth was as miraculous and marvellous as God always intended. Mary Magdalene was enslaved by sexual sin and was often treated like a moral leper even after conversion. Mary Magdalene, who sought approval from men and bathed them with affection, finally found real love in Jesus and continued to offend men by pouring out on Him tears and fragrant worship.
Circling back to the present, how many women in your life took a weapon that was formed against them, and used it for the kingdom? Or how about a sister-in-Christ who realized that her “flaws and flesh” can be repurposed as fruit and feats of glory? A friend of mine once told me that she kept repenting at the Lord’s feet for being “impatient and too energetic”. That same friend is anxiously awaiting greater manifestation and the forward motion of the Most Holy King’s Most Holy Kingdom. This young woman is fervent and zealous in prayer, refusing to give God excuses when He roll-calls her to advance!
She recognizes that her past, present and future circumstances are part of her spiritual resume and life story – she is indisputably qualified in Christ for greater things.
When you look in the mirror, you don’t see what God sees. Ask Him to open your eyes, daughter. Some women are lionesses that roar in the spiritual realms as they sing. Some use their soft voice to prescribe biblical truths as medicine and balm for emotional wounds. Some carry a sword around their necks (a cross pendant) in their all-religions-but-no-Jesus-allowed schools and workplaces. Some women grow so big and mighty in their spheres of influence that they explode with insight and action for change. Some women focus on the imperative assignment of nurturing and serving at home so that great leaders are built up and released. Some women take up their cross, and little else, to go serve on the missions field. Some women empower and sharpen other women! Can I get a hashtaaaaaag! #IronSharpensIron as #WomenSharpenWomen but an Amen will also do ; )
Daughters, no matter how He has designed you, God will use you as much as you let Him. What has the Lord been saying to you about your designs? What creative and unique elements has He woven into the tapestry of your lives?
– Christina Sathaseevan