Thanking God When You're a Basket Case
PART 1 CONT'D:
A Tisket, a Tasket, What's in Your Basket?
Being a HOT Woman (or Man!)
|Yes, this is really is me and a close friend. (I'm in the yellow.) Why do you ask?|
Several years ago, a young friend who worked with a Christian student group at the University of Houston called to ask if I would come and speak to their group. He said their program committee had come up with several topics to be parceled out among several speakers over the coming months but that he had saved one in particular that he thought would be especially perfect for me to take on: Body image.
Say wha'? (Yeah, that's what I thought, too!)
I grinned later, though, and told the group I ended up speaking to that my sweet friend, Matt's, reasoning must've been that anyone as old as I am and as . . . umm, fluffy . . . but who still thinks she's so F-I-I-I-I-I-I-NE must certainly have something to say on the subject!
We all had a good laugh, but it did get me thinking about what it might really mean to be a HOT woman (or man) who follows Jesus. Here are some conclusions I came to. To be HOT means that I am
Owned and operated by God
Tailor-made and designed with a purpose
And just what exactly does that mean and why is it important? (And, trust me, it IS!)
Your first thought might be, "Me? Holy?" Well, yeah; that is, after all, exactly what God has called us to. And when we recognize that God has called us, through Christ, to holiness – to be set apart for Himself – then we understand that we are going to think differently than the world around us thinks. In fact, that’s the way it’s supposed to be! (After all, Jesus called us to go into the world but not to be part of it.) God’s ways are not like man’s ways, so the closer we get to being like our Father, the more our ways are not going to be like the world’s ways, and we have to expect that that’s going to feel a little uncomfortable sometimes. (Knowing that ahead of time helps.)
There’s a song I love that says, “In his hands, there’s only safety . . . nothing there can touch me except Him.” When we understand that, as His, we have chosen to be owned and operated by God, we can rest in the absolute assurance that we are held securely by the Lord of the Universe Who loves us so much that He gave sent His Son to come to earth to live as one of us so that He might then die for us to pay the penalty of sin. He then raised that Son from the grave so that we, too, might have life in Him! (And life to the very fullest -- I love that part!) As His children, when we then choose to allow Him to work through us -- to fill us with His Spirit so that He can operate through us, just as a hand fills an empty glove and operates inside of it and through it, we are set free from the fears that might otherwise keep us from being the believers we’ve been called to be. We know that it is He Who is at work in us and not our own selves. Now, THAT is freeing!
Learning to embrace the man or woman God designed us to be – flaws and all – is one of the hardest things for us to do, but that's exactly what it means to know that we have been tailor-made and designed for a purpose. Unless we choose to walk in that truth, our human nature will always want to be more attractive, more successful, more
talented . . . the list could go on and on. But the bottom line is that we will never run our own race as long as we allow our pace to be slowed by focusing on the other runners around us. Hebrews 12:1 says, “. . . let us throw off everything that hinders . . . and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us [italics mine].” (Note: We are not called to run someone else’s race!)
Paul also writes, “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Phil. 3:12b) and, “For we are
God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). See! Each of us was created for a purpose! But we will never fulfill that purpose until we embrace the manner in which we were individually, uniquely designed to fulfill that purpose, nor will we fulfill that purpose as long as our plans are more important than God’s plans. (OUCH! That hurts me, and I wrote it!)
Whew! That's a lot of stuff I've just thrown at you, so stop, take a breath, and take time to reread and digest all of that food for thought. And while you're chewing on some of that, I'm going to shut this down for now and head home to Casa St. Michael. (I'm finishing this up at my School House computer.)
I'll add some more on to this in a couple of days . . . meanwhile, don't hesitate to let me know if I'm giving you too much at one time. (I am at your service!) And, remember, if all else fails, know that you are one HOT mama! (Or Daddy!)
Grins and blessings,