In recent weeks, I have talked a good bit about the contrast between being seen as invisible. Well, not really being seen at all! When people don’t see you, it’s as if you are invisible when you are in a conversation, a room, a store or whatever place it is.
What a treat when we experience the embrace of another human who appreciates something about us that is unique. It feels like a hug at a deep level, doesn’t it?
Most of you who have lived for awhile, have probably experienced this feeling in your life…sometime! The joy of having someone who looks at you in a special way and embraces you as someone special is delightful, for sure! Some of you have been in love and experienced this. Some of you have had a close friend or group of friends who saw something special about you that few others saw and they embraced you for it. Sometimes, the very thing they love about you is the thing others are critical of you for. It touches a special place in you when that happens.
GOD knows you even more intimately than any human will ever know you and He embraces you! He knows the good and bad.
But whether you have experienced this kind of embrace in everyday life or not, this is the way GOD feels about you. He embraces those special, sometimes quirky things about you that not everyone loves. Your odd laugh, your unusual way of approaching problems, your calmness in stressful situations, your odd ideas that sometimes turn into good ones in a group, your love of cats, your quirky sense of humor…whatever it is, He loves the entire package that is you! He created you, including what you look like. Are you short, tall, thin, chunky, in between? Everything about you is created by Him or has been allowed by Him into your life to form who you are.
For some of you that is difficult to trust because you have been through some harrowing experiences. For others, it isn’t as difficult to accept. But each part of your life has made you into the person who GOD sees as beautiful and someone to be embraced as His special child. Just as good parents love their children and want each of them to do well with their own combination of special gifts, so GOD, our heavenly Father sees us through His eyes of grace and mercy and knows the plan He has for each of us.
Each of us as parents, can see how we failed at times, with our own children, in terms of loving them as unconditionally as we would have liked to. That is because we were not GOD. Only He is able to love perfectly that way. So often, our view of Him is colored by the way people have treated us in church or among the Christian community in general, that we forget what He tells us about Himself in His Word. Sadly, the power of people in real life can be stronger than the power of the truth of the Bible.
Here is some truth we can preach to ourselves that is hopeful.
So we need to preach truth to ourselves to remind ourselves of truth rather than be overwhelmed by our feelings that hit when we are treated as if we are invisible.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.
But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.
The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Psalm 103:8-14, 17-19 ESV