God created you and me for a purpose. He designed every part of us, even the parts that this world has taught us to dislike, or even hate, about ourselves. Your weirdness, your quirks, your looks, your abilities, your strengths, and your weaknesses, etc. are all God-made. God didn’t create you so He can then forget about you! He didn’t create you so that He would let you suffer alone in this world without any help. He created you and made a perfect plan to carry you through every struggle that this fallen world can possibly throw at you. He promises to overcome the world for you! (Ok…I want you to pause for a second here and take in this promise…)
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
God’s love towards us is a great love from a loving Father and Creator to His children who are also His creation. We are not God, but we are made after Him – His image and likeness. So, He loves us a lot, very intimately. If that alone doesn’t give you worth and help you see that you are worthy, then you can ignore everything I try to present in this blog. The premise of everything I will present and hope to get across to you is this: God loves you and He created you, specifically you, for a purpose despite everything that you see or think is standing in your way.
So, if/when you fall into despair and wonder, “why am I even alive?” You have to remember that God made you for a purpose. Whether or not you have come to know the details of this specific purpose in your life is, actually, not entirely relevant. God asked us to have faith, but if we knew everything already, why would we need faith? For instance, if you knew your purpose entirely, you no longer need faith; yet, the truth is that you still need faith. The fact that Christ stresses the need for faith tells us that there are mysteries that we do not know yet. The one thing we know, and need to be sure of, is that God, the Maker of everything seen and unseen, is the same One who granted you to be born and to live out a very unique and specific (a very you!) purpose. God created you and He granted you worth – He gives you value. This value is not supposed to be measured by our earthly scales like wealth, education, prestige, popularity, intellectual ability, physical ability, etc, but rather our worth is measured by His love. How, you ask? John 3:16!
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Your worth is tied down to this verse.
- God loves you.
- He wants you to have everlasting life – life forever…& ever…& ever…
- He does not want you to perish – He doesn’t want you to be destroyed by death.
- He willed to give His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to this world:
- To enter time, which He created.
- To be born from the Holy Virgin Mary as a human baby (still divine).
- To live as a poor person on earth.
- To feel hunger, thirst, and other pains and needs associated with our bodies.
- To speak life to deaf ears who continually abused Him because they hated Him.
- To be mocked by the very humans that He created.
- To be abandoned by His friends…even His friends.
- To feel alone and to even feel abandoned by God like us.
- To ultimately suffer at the hands of Pontius Pilate.
- Then, die the death of the worst criminals at the time – on The Cross.
- To be buried for three days, rise, and conquer death through His death – One of the most touching lines of the Divine and Holy Liturgy of St. Basil the Great is that “He tasted death…”.
- He gives you a whole lifetime as a chance to come to believe in Him and worship Him…
- To delight in being God’s child.
- To love Him while in the flesh.
- To experience the Kingdom of Life within you.
- To love others around you.
- To live out your purpose…by seeing yourself through His loving eyes.
A personal story…
One night, I was under attack by thoughts of being a terrible sinner and worthless human being. I was feeling so rejected and unloved by people, even those who were closest to me, to the point that I imagined that I was rejected by God. This type of attack is not rare in my life, but I remember this specific day very well. It was during the summer of 2016. I had recently returned to the Coptic Orthodox Church and there was a lot of turbulence at the parish that I joined. In the midst of that storm, I was receiving messages that were translating in my head as this: I am not worthy of love, attention, and care of those who shepherd and serve the church, therefore, I was not worthy of God’s love, attention, and care! [This story is as important for those who are hurting as it is important for those who serve, who carry a great cross to offer love like that of Christ]. At any rate, I was battling these thoughts that night, feeling really down and on the brink of total despair, when I got a very important reminder about God’s love through a song. (I personally connect with God through melodies and songs, so He knew how to touch my heart that night and save me from myself!) As I was listening to YouTube, “How He loves us” by David Crowder began to play. Throughout the video, there was two Protestant preachers who were emphasizing a message that my worth is not the value that people place on me within the context of their own lives – my values in the eyes of others is not the same as my value in the eyes of God. One of the lines of that song that I love says, “He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane.” God’s love is very awesome! So, I began to learn that day that my worth is in God and He is jealous for me! He doesn’t want my heart to be divided; He doesn’t want me to seek love from anyone, not even the best of the best servants in the church, besides Him. So, as I kneeled down in tears and awe, I felt totally and amazing loved by the One who Made me and knows everything about me. over the next year and half, I slowly discovered that my meaning is: God loves me. My purpose is: God loves me. My goal is: God loves me. My future is: God loves me.
My worth is: God loves me!
As I keep living and watch people abuse each other, hate each other, manipulate each other, hurt each others, abandon each other, judge each other, and treat each other mercilessly, I see a world full of people who, to put it most simply, live as though they are unloved. This emptiness pushes them [us] to want to feel something by seeking out our bad habits and sins (food, sexual sin, money, fame, power, prestige, gossip, selfish living, following every twisted trend in this world, etc) as a way of quenching a hunger and thirst in our hearts, which only God can satisfy. Also, as I watch my inability to really love those I serve like Christ loves them, I feel compelled to speak out this truth: God loves you despite how others see you and treat you. God loves you despite how you see yourself and treat yourself. Your worth is in His love for you.
Psalm 142 (141 Septuagint) for meditation:
I cried to the Lord with my voice.
With my voice I prayed to the Lord.
I shall pour out my supplication before Him;
I shall declare my affliction in His presence.
When my spirit fainted within me,
then You knew my paths;
for on the way I was going, they hid a trop for me.
I looked on my right, and saw
there was non one who knew me;
refuge failed me,
and there was no one who cared for my soul.
I cried to You, O Lord;
I said, “You are my hope,
my portion in the land of the living.
Attend to my supplication
for I was humbled exceedingly;
deliver me from my persecutors,
for they are stronger than I.
Bring my soul out of prison
to give thanks to Your name, O Lord;
the righteous shall wait for me, until You reward me.”
Sunday, 15 April 2018