Who Do You See In The Mirror?

Cat in mirrorAs I sat in the audience listening to a gifted, well-known speaker, fear began to overtake me.  I was one of three speakers at that weekend conference, and I was totally unknown.    The voices in my head began to say, “What are you doing here?  You can’t compete with her.  You have nothing to say.  You will put people to sleep.”

I literally went to the head of the conference and said, “She practically covered my whole message, so you can just give the women the afternoon off.  I’m okay with that.”

She replied, “No!”

When my session rolled around, my feet felt like cement blocks as I walked up on the stage and to the podium.  I wanted to cry, and I wanted to run away.    Though I had sought God, prepared a message and dressed just right (hey, I am a girl), I wanted to go home.  I had little faith in my ability.

I opened the Bible, read the scripture and then began to speak what God had given me.  The response was amazing.  Once I was done, and went back to my seat, all I could say was thank you, God, for believing in me when I did not even believe in myself.

While I very much believe in positive confession of who we are, and who Christ is in us, there are times that life can weight you down. God doesn’t give up on you when your confession isn’t perfect.  In the book of Judges, a man named Gideon felt totally defeated. His confession was basically, “I’m just a big weakling who can’t do anything.” God, through an angel, said, “I don’t think so.” Well, actually He said, “You are a mighty warrior.”

When Gideon listed all the reasons he was disqualified to be used by God, God rejected Gideon’s small view, and said to him as recorded in Judges 6, “Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!” “But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!” The Lord said to him, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.”

Gideon went on to be the mighty warrior that God said he was.  The key to his success?  God was with Him.  God paid no attention to what Gideon thought of himself, or what others thought of Gideon.  What mattered is that God promised to be with him.  God did not expect Gideon to do it in his own strength.   God sees us not as what we are, but what we will be when His power is upon us.   Accomplishing great things is not about who I am, but about who God is.

Take another long look in that mirror, and see who God sees.  Over your life, God confesses, “Mighty warrior!”   He sees you much greater than you see yourself.

From Trash To Diamonds

flea-market-flip-title-shot-featOne of my most favorite TV programs is Flea Market Flip on HGTV.  Oh my goodness – I record FMF,  and binge watch several episodes at a time.  The show is all about looking for something that is all messed up, and envisioning what it could become. Each week amazing items are showcased; they are items which have undergone a transforming process.   The items are then sold for a major profit. Their value was maximized thanks to the hands of the ones who created the “new” item.    What was trash to others, became diamonds after being transformed by the hands of their creator.

I am so thankful that God transforms lives.  He looks at messed up people, people with flaws, people that others think have little value.  God looks at those people not as they presently are, but what they will become after His transforming process.

Many could be listed, but let me showcase some people who became diamonds because of the hands of the Creator:

  1. We met “Mary” in one of the states where we were pastors. She had lived a rough life, and had even begun to sell her body.  Mary was found by Jesus Christ, and He transformed her life.  She became a new creation.  Others saw her as trash, but God envisioned her as a diamond.
  2. “Susan” had quite a story.  She had lived in a horribly abusive marriage for many years.  What Susan had gone through at the hands of her husband is beyond comprehension.  One day she felt she had all she could stand. While her husband was sleeping, Susan shot him twice.    As a result, she was sentenced to several years in prison.  My husband led her to the Lord, baptized her and was used by God to help equip her for life change.  Susan eventually got out of jail, and was a new creation.  Others saw her as trash, but God envisioned her as a diamond.
  3. Then, there was a little girl named Barbara. Her life was rough while growing up with an abusive, alcoholic father.  The things she endured messed her up emotionally, and in other ways. God came looking for another “piece” to transform by His creative hands.  God took Barbara, and through a transforming process, changed who she was.  He would later open many doors of ministry to her, so she could proclaim the power of God to change lives.  Some saw Barbara as trash, but God envisioned her as a diamond.

It is so easy to look at people as losers, pieces of trash or not “worthy of the oxygen they breathe.”  God is looking for those messed up “pieces.”  He envisions them as diamonds.

Thank God that He can change trash into diamonds.  Barbara knows. Indeed she does!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11