“Who do you think you are?” “You are nothing special.” “Don’t bother me [with your presence, your talk, your thoughts].” We get this from others, from the world, all the time. Sometimes we sense it by their expressions, their silences, their glares. Other times we hear it out loud. Some of us get it from the ones who are supposed to love us – from their words, from their deeds, from their neglect.
What are we to do with this? Some are set afire; they burn with determination, vowing to rise to such heights, accomplish such marvels that nobody can deny that they not only exist, but conquer. Others lock the ugly words inside themselves and chew on them for so long that they become part of who we are, how we view ourselves. They say, “How could anyone love me? How can God love me? I am nothing! A worm!”
The self fights this. “I am someone! I will make you love me, because I am worthy of love!” And so the battle begins. Battles with words that scream, that wound, that defy the neglect and ignorance. Some battle by leaving, setting out in search of self, of someone to acknowledge their existence and their greatness. And some just wither up and die, slipping through the dark waters into silent oblivion.
But hear what God says: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…You are precious and honored in my sight, and…I love you.” (Isaiah 43:1-4)
Feeling small, like you don’t matter? Feeling neglected, unloved? Take the hand of the One who sees you, sees your pain, feels your loneliness. The One who knows you best and sings over you (Zephaniah 3:17). The One who so values you that He was willing to die so that you could be with Him forever.
Lord, help us to see ourselves rightly – not as the world sees us, not as less or more than we are, but as redeemed and deeply loved by You. Help us dedicate our lives and hearts to You so that we may know the joy of living with purpose. Amen.
Aphorisms flow from ancient writings. For example, we read them in the book of Proverbs and hear them quoted by public speakers. The ancients focused on gr...