I was walking one day in the garden, admiring the beauty that surrounded me and trying to choose which bit of beauty was my favorite: the delicate deep pink plum blossoms? the ornamental grasses surrendering their pale, wispy tassels to the breeze? the grand and steady backdrop of mountains still wearing their snowcap?
I chatted with God about my struggle to choose—it was all so beautiful. Then I asked Him, “What’s your favorite?” I tried to guess, expecting he’d choose the mountains or the redwood trees which towered far above me—something tall and grand and, if not eternal, at least stretching toward ancient. “You are.” Tears sprang from the surprise of finding myself so deeply loved and honored. I wondered why I was his favorite. “The mountains and trees can’t have this conversation with me.”
I’ve been reading through Genesis in The Message, hearing again and again the echo of our godlikeness:
“God spoke, ‘Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature so they can be responsible for. . . Earth itself. . . ‘” (1:26)
“God created human beings, he created them godlike, reflecting God’s nature. He created them male and female.” (1:27)
“When God created the human race, he made it godlike, with a nature akin to God.” (5:1)
“. . . God made humans in his image, reflecting God’s very nature.” (9:6)
God clearly wants us to understand our greatness.
But I often find myself afraid to receive God’s gifts. Like this one. I hold it at arm’s length, afraid of the responsibilities that will accompany it. Afraid that the gift will take the place of the Giver. Afraid of becoming proud. Or selfish. (Does God really want me to see myself as godlike?)
But every gift that God gives is meant to be received. Including this gift of our greatness.
And I’m surprised to discover that in receiving the gift and the accompanying embrace of the Giver my hesitations disappear. The fear of the accompanying responsibilities is calmed as I realize that God is telling me who He has already made me, not demanding that I make of myself something I can’t possibly be.
And as for proud and selfish, I’m at far greater danger of that when I don’t embrace my God-given greatness than when I do. (Underlying our society’s increasing self-absorption Brene Brown sees “the shame-based fear of being ordinary.” (Daring Greatly, p. 22) Is this why our enemy goes to such pains to keep us from seeing and receiving our God-bestowed greatness? Does he know that if he does, he’ll keep us forever tied up in trying to create and prove our extraordinariness instead of being free in humble confidence to live our already-bestowed godlikeness in ways that bring glory to our Creator?)
We are made godlike. How can we ever be ordinary?
Knowing who we are frees us to engage rather than compete, give instead of grab, and celebrate instead of cling. I look again at Jesus who, accepting the authority bestowed on him by his Father who loved him, stooped to serve (John 13:3-5).
So come, friend, be free in the God-spoken guarantee that you aren’t ordinary. Be free to live your godlikeness in grateful humility and in union with Christ who, living in you, takes your godlikeness to a whole new level.
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love love love! shared this with my sister!
Thanks, Nancy. I love it that we can be “unordinary” together – so different from each other, but seeing God’s reflection in each other’s faces. Bless you!
I recently wrote in my journal “I always wanted to be better than I was.”A freeing thought-we already are. Isn’t God amazing!
Thanks for sharing this, Hannah. I (deeply) identify with your desire. And yes—God is amazing! Love, C
Thank you Carolyn, you once again lifted my spirit in this powerful message of how special we are to our Father. Boy, the enemy certainly works hard to destroy whom we are in God.I shared this with a woman friend who much needed to hear this, she was so thrilled with your words also.As I was unable to attend church this last Sunday,this writing was so timely for my thirsty soul– praise God for always providing His living water– this time through you. I praise God for the gift of His word through you.
Beautiful post, Carolyn. It is an incredible and humbling thought that we are His favorite creation. What a loving, merciful, wonderful Father we have!
Thanks for stopping by, Alisha. The magnitude of God’s love for us is incredible, isn’t it?!