Enjoy this devotional written by a FlourishWriter’s Student…
The table is covered with jigsaw pieces. On the box cover is a beautiful nautical scene that will be recreated when all these pieces are assembled. I ponder a piece in my hand. The colors don’t seem to be right no matter where I look. A piece that will fit into the notches has not shown up. Oh well, sometimes it takes a while to figure it out. I put the piece down and keep on working.
Several hours later (I am not quick with jigsaw puzzles) the scene is completed, looking just like the box cover. There on the table is one lonely piece — the piece I could not get to fit. It seems it must belong to another puzzle altogether.
Most of my childhood I felt like that puzzle piece. No matter where I was or what I was doing, I just never seemed to “fit.” I used to wonder if the stork had dropped me into the wrong garden!
My parents took good care of my brother and me. We were well fed, spoiled at Christmas and birthdays, and taught to be socially acceptable. I don’t remember ever lacking anything. Despite all the good things, my impression was that I was unacceptable, a nuisance.
When I did my best to please my parents, it went unnoticed. However, if something went wrong, it was a consequence of my shortcomings. Once I was outside when my brother got into trouble inside the house. I was told I should have stopped him even if I wasn’t in the house because “you are the oldest.” That kind of logic was difficult to grasp! My conclusion? I just didn’t fit in this family.
It was not much different at school. Being a good student, I sometimes felt like I belonged but that was a fleeting emotion. I eventually ended up walking alone while others chatted happily together. Because I didn’t know who I was, I could not relate to others. Always looking for clues as to what others wanted, I tried to make myself into their image.
Then along came Jesus!
We met in a New Year’s Eve watch-night service when I was fifteen years old. Reading the Gospels, He taught me that I am made in Father God’s image. God does not make any mistakes. I am exactly as I am supposed to be, and HE LIKES ME just as I am. There is nothing I can do to make Him love me more. There is nothing I can do make Him love me less.
What JOY! I belong. I am loved. I am acceptable.
Once I began to understand this truth, I found that others began to like me too. I now realize that they liked me all along, but I could not receive it.
What about you? Do you feel, like me, that somehow you are not good enough? We are not alone. The Bible tells us about one man who totally changed his self-image when He found out how God saw him. His name is Gideon.
The Israelites had been conquered by the army of Midian. They cried out to God to save them when the destruction of crops and wealth left them destitute. Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress, hiding from the enemies, when an angel appeared and greeted him, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” (Judges 6)
Gideon responded, “The Lord has abandoned us.”
I guess he didn’t get the “mighty warrior” part!
So, the angel tried again: “Go in the strength you have and save Israel.”
Gideon is starting to get it now!
“How can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest, and I am the least in my family.” Note the poor self-opinion.
Once again, the angel tried, “I will be with you and you will strike down all of the Midianites together.”
How did Gideon respond? “Give me a sign that it is really you talking to me.”
Gideon designed a series of tests to confirm that it was God calling him. Read about his tests in Judges chapter 6. Each test was answered by God.
It took a lot of convincing, but finally, Gideon was hesitatingly brave enough to believe he could do what God wanted. Eventually, he became a mighty warrior, a ruler over Israel and a Prophet of God. He became the man God had created him to be.
Do you feel like a puzzle piece that just doesn’t fit? Do you, like Gideon, have negative thoughts about yourself and your value? These are lies from the father of lies. Bring them to Jesus – read His Word. Believe what He says. Let His Word move from your head into your heart. Ask Him to show you that His Word is true. He keeps all His promises, every single one.
I learned that I am cherished, loved, valued and valuable. Seek Him and you will find this is true for you too. It does not matter what anyone has said about you or to you. He loves you like you are His only child. Jesus is the bondage breaker, and He wants to set you FREE.
Carol Nicholls has been gifted with a teacher’s heart, deep love of prayer and a fascination with life.That may be why she is always exploring new things. This current season she is traveling the US in her 27ft motorhome just so she can go from SEA TO SEE sharing her travel adventures with God and friends through her blog. The five children Carol raised have now blessed her with multiple grandchildren and a brand new assortment of great-grandchildren. Since they are spread out all over the country visiting them is a priority in her travels. Anyone interested in knowing more about Carol’s blog or travel adventures is invited to email her at:[email protected]