Two Views on Yourself

I wrote the following a couple days ago as a Facebook post, but I think it deserves better staying power than what that medium provides, so I'm posting it here. Not all of us struggle with the thoughts and feelings expressed below by "Us." But many of us do, perhaps most of us, though we may cover them up under a veneer so thick that most people, and even we ourselves, can't see through it to the pain it covers. So don't dismiss the following lightly just because life happens to be going well for you. And if you do find that "Us" sounds a lot like you, then take this as a voice of hope and faith from a fellow traveler along the twisty back roads of life. ---------------------------------- I was thinking about the difference that often exists between our perspective and God's, particularly when it comes to seeing ourselves: Us: I'm a loser. God: You're my child and the apple of my eye. Us: I'm worthless; I have no value. God: You're priceless; your value is beyond anything you can imagine. Us: I am small, powerless, and insignificant. God: You are far more than you think you are. You have been beaten down with lies so long that it is hard for you to even recognize the truth--but I will help you. The truth is far, far better than you've been led to believe. Us: I'm too broken, shameful, and ugly to be of any use to anyone, let alone God. God: I turn carbon into diamonds; I uncover pearls of great price buried in the dirt; I shine light out of shattered vessels. Your brokenness is a great asset. Walk with me, and over time I will redeem it and use it to your joy, the blessing of others, and my own deep delight. The worst about you will become the best about you--a treasury of wisdom, grace, and hope for many--if you will travel life with me. Us: My life is a complete mess. God: Your life is in transition, a journey of letting go of what was in order to receive what can be if you will walk with me, listen for me, and learn to trust. These pairings could continue indefinitely, but you get the idea. Maybe you could write some of your own. The point is this: "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow" (Isa. 55:8-13 NIV)