Walking through our living room the other day I wondered where the pretty aroma was coming from and then saw this little dish of dried rose petals I had placed on a side table. It surprises me every time because it does not seem possible that an old dried up rose that used to be so beautiful could still offer such pleasure. But it does, and it made me smile.
Many years ago while scrubbing a dirty wall in a church nursery, I made what I thought was a grand gesture in prayer. I said to God,
" Please get me out of the way so that you can shine more brightly in me God. Reduce the Susie and magnify the You in me."
Turns out, God did not appreciate my grand words or even the real desperation that lie behind them. In fact, as I remember it now, I think He may have been a bit bugged at me for my request. And it takes a lot to get Him bugged. I heard a quick answer.......
"No I will NOT reduce the Susie in you. I created you and I like what I designed just the way it is!"
When God talks to you there is an understanding that goes beyond the actual words you hear. I knew that God was telling me that He made me in a specific way for His purposes and when I do not like myself, I am insulting what He made. There is something about my "Susie-ness" that He loves and my personality, quirks and talents are not by accident. They are useful to Him and He enjoys me as me. Even when I don't.
The dried up rose petal provides a soft and comforting aroma long after the fresh blossom is born. God likes the way He designed the rose. It has a purpose and reason for being just the way it is. I am treasuring each stage of the life (and death) of that yellow rose and its' siblings from the same rose bush.
Some days I feel much more like the the dried up and dead rose petals than the soft and dewy fresh blossom, but either way, I am loved by a God who designed me to be nothing more than me. Not only is being myself good enough, it is perfect. To do less or to moan about who I am would be insulting to my God and I do not want to make Him bugged at me again!
My friends, can you apply this small and so simple truth to yourself? God likes who you are, the way you are and the way you do things. He is not shaking His head in frustration when you "mess up". Our lives are a learning season and mess ups are totally expected. Get back up, laugh at your goofiness and try again. One further bit of advice though...do not ask Him to get you out of the way. He won't go for it at all.
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