Sometimes, the most important lessons in life come from the mouth of a four-year-old.
We were gathered in the girls’ bedroom for bedtime prayers. It was our middle daughter’s turn to pray and she started off with her usual pleasantries about what a great day it had been. She then thanked Jesus for all the important people in her life: Mommy, Daddy, her sisters, Grammy and Pop Pop, Me Maw and Pee Paw, and on and on until she finally closed, “And thank you for me!”
At first I snickered at her innocent childishness to thank Jesus for herself. But then I felt that twinge of conviction, that still small voice whispering in my ear reminding me of all the times I could not thank God for myself.
The times when I was embarrassed or ashamed about the way he made me; the times I cowered in fear and shrunk from an opportunity because of what I perceived to be a flaw God had somehow missed when he formed me in my mother’s womb.
We all do it. We all have a keen ability to find and focus on our imperfections and flaws. We stand before a mirror and size up our oversized ears; we study our pocked and discolored skin; we discreetly hide our crooked teeth with tight-lipped smiles; and we do all we can to draw attention away from our disfigured figures.
Like a flawed vessel from the kiln we stamp “imperfect” on our soul and banish ourselves to the “seconds” pile devalued, ashamed, and seemingly useless.
But what our daughter, in her innocent four-year-old mind, knew that I, in my not-so-innocent adult mind, seemed to forget time and time again was that God made me just the way I am and, as the saying goes, “God don’t make no junk!”
In Psalm 139 David wrote,
For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed (verses 13-16).
God made you and formed you while you were still in your mother’s womb. He made your inward parts and he covered you with skin. He made every part of you just how he wanted, big nose, big feet, thin hair, crooked teeth and all.
David understood that, that’s why he said “I will praise you” and “marvelous are your works.” I’m sure David had some flaws. Sure, others may not have been aware of them, but David knew exactly where they were.
But David, like our daughter, thanked God for how he was wonderfully and marvelously made.
When’s the last time you thanked God for . . . you? When’s the last time you looked in the mirror, didn’t particularly like everything you saw, but thanked God anyway for how He made you? Thank Him. In our Father’s eyes we are wonderful, marvelous creations, beautiful in His sight, and made just the way He wants us.