But, what about …? (Prayer Devotional for the week of January 12, 2014)

I’ve shared before about a bully in my elementary school who ruthlessly taunted a good friend of mine because she was poor and wore hand-me-down clothes. Between that situation and my own hurtful childhood memories of being called “four-eyes,” I have developed a very low tolerance for teasing. Jesting about your own goof-ups is one thing, but boosting your ego at someone else’s expense is unnecessary and mean. I don’t put up with it from my kids, and I sure don’t appreciate grown-ups stooping to such petty behavior. *Steps off soapbox

The point is, no one likes to be made a spectacle. I can’t think of any situation where it feels good to have my shortcomings highlighted or to publicize my self-doubts. (I have plenty; I just don’t want the world to know about them.) Leave it to God, though, to turn the tables around and make our insecurities something to be valued!

Check out what Jesus said in Matthew 5. He put a spotlight on our spiritual poverty, our grief, our need to be nourished and nurtured … all of the gunk that hinders us from seeing our potential and the hurt that chips away our confidence, and he called it blessed. I don’t know about you, but I sometimes need a reminder that God can use the messy parts of my life, just as much as he can use the pieces that are (in my mind, at least) going smoothly.

But, what about this dusty piece in the corner? Yep, that piece. But, what about that broken section that I’ve tried to glue together, but it keeps breaking? Yes, that one also. But, what about that part I buried years ago, because I’m ashamed to bring to light? Yes, even that part.

God can use our messed up lives, when we turn them over to him. It doesn’t really matter if the whole world points and laughs, because where we stand before God is far more important than the approval of others (and I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older: the odds are good that the people who sneer are probably struggling with insecurities of their own).

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