When my kids were young, I spent hours at the sewing machine. I loved taking a piece of fabric and some ribbon and lace and creating something unique and special. When Sadie and the other granddaughters came along, more dresses were made. But, before I could blink, all my little’s outgrew the smocked creations and they were carefully stored away. I now have some new nieces and it thrills me to wash and starch and iron and get them ready for more Sunday morning to-go-church-wearing.
I seriously love these dresses. I know everything about them. Which ones were harder to make. Which one of them doesn’t look very nice on the inside. Which one of them was supposed to have pink ribbon, but I ran out and put white. There are well over a hundred of them—hanging neatly in a closet and I know details about every one of them. I guess I love them because I made them. They bring me joy. I have pride in my work on them. I picked out the fabric, thoughtfully chose the ribbon, decided on the perfect lace and then shaped the dress together. I look at them and think, “I made that!”
Oh, how God must love us. We are His creation. Just as I did at the fabric store–picking and choosing–God personally and carefully chose every detail as he created YOU. The bible says it this way, “For we are His workmanship.” That means He worked to put you together. Can you even wrap your head around that thought? Think about something you have created. It might not be a dress, but perhaps a painting or a flower arrangement or a scrapbook. Making something—anything– is a very personal adventure. It requires attention to detail and personal choice and careful planning and patience waiting for the outcome and then, satisfaction at the end result. That is what God did for you! He personally attended to every detail—the size of your feet, the color of your eyes, whether your hair curls or is straight as a board, your ability to sing or not sing or play the piano or not play—everything about you was put before God’s eyes and then He said, “I want this for her!”
While I hate to admit it, I have looked at others and wished for the things God picked out for them. Yes, I’ve done it. I’ve thought to myself, God, if only you had given me that talent, I could have done great things. I just know if God would have gifted me with an amazing voice I would have used it to glorify Him, but He didn’t. Then, I’ve thought about what it would feel like if I presented a new mom with one of my handmade baby dresses and her response would have been, “I wish this dress was blue instead of white. And I would have liked it better if you didn’t put a collar on it.” I would have been heartbroken. Crushed. Devastated. After all my hard work, the recipient of my creation was disappointed.
God must feel the same when we don’t praise Him for how He made us. When we look in the mirror and shake our heads instead of saying, “Yes, God, I am fearfully and wonderfully made!” You see, that’s something else the bible says– we are fearfully and wonderfully made. What does that mean? That means we can do things other creations can’t do. Did you know humans are the only creation who can understand and participate in creating things? The gift of creation is given to everyone. We are told we are made in His image and God is a creator. While our creative gifts manifest themselves a little differently than God’s (we don’t call mountains into being) still we are capable of creating, putting things together, building and fashioning as no other creation can do . Also, we’re the only ones in creation who can form opinions and make judgment calls or discern between right and wrong. We’re the only ones who understand time—present and past and eternity. Beyond those cool things, our bodies are magnificent works of art. Our heart, brain, kidneys, lungs, blood system—all work together every day to keep us walking and talking. It’s a miracle that only a loving and brilliant God could create and sustain.
So many times we look at our outward appearance and are disappointed with how God finished up His magnificent project. Often we compare our talents to other’s talents and feel like God cheated us in some way. Let’s all stop looking for a prettier face or more musical talent or a better swan dive or a higher ACT score. Instead, let’s focus on how God made you and me–in His image and uniquely different from anyone else so He could carry out the plan He has for our life and no one else’s. Let’s marvel that this body we have can run and play and dance and sing and think and understand and listen and speak and blink and snap and on and on and on….because our good, good Father created us.
You are perfect in every way. Don’t ever think otherwise.
Hugs, Chrys (2-mama)
Chrys Howard is an editor and writer, serves as president of the board of a Christian camp in Louisiana, and hosts a weekly radio show. She is also the proud grandma of fourteen, including Sadie.