"Each of you should use whatever gifts you have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God’s grace in it’s various forms” –– 1 Peter 4:10
"You know, it’s funny. All summer I’ve been teaching kids through various arts and crafts how they are unique and special, and how God has chosen them to be His son or daughter. But do I even believe that about myself? At this point in the summer, I won’t be able to teach the virtue of uniqueness again in anymore classrooms. I won’t be able to look absolutely ridiculous in front of a classroom anymore, with God’s children smiling at Kate, Hannah, Jay and me as we tell them they’re unique and special. But as I look back at God’s incredible faithfulness, I keep seeing how God has used those moments in the classroom to shape me, and to reveal to me how He sees me, too. Walking through the classroom in one of our teaching sessions, a child wrote on his paper that he is ‘fearfully and wonderfully made.’ God planned for me to see what that little boy was writing on his paper. Sometimes, God works in the little details. And if we just look for them, and if we just look for Him in everything we do, He will rock our worlds in the craziest ways.”
The summer of 2014––that’s when I wrote that last paragraph. Almost two years later, I’m back in Africa, and God’s still reminding me: though the seasons change and time goes on, His truth remains the same. I’m prone to forget, and I typically run from things that are hard to believe. The great thing is, He faithfully continues to remind me––I’m uniquely created to serve.
Two summers ago, He showed me my true identity and how He’s created me.
“Too good to be true––I’m calling Your bluff,” I said.
I knew it as head knowledge, but ran from truly believing it. But how persistent is our God? He heard me, and still gently walked me through truth in Ephesians, discipleship from brothers, and a lot of refinement. Slowly but surely, God walked me to trusting and believing it as heart knowledge.
Today I stand, knowing that I’m chosen, blameless, and a child of God that’s fearfully and wonderfully made. This makes me feel a lot of emotions––overwhelmed, humbled, usually pretty confused. But ultimately, it lets me take a breath, knowing that I can rest in the freedom of God’s truth.
I can joyfully give up the heavy burden that this world places on my shoulders––their expectancies for me to live as a worldly man. I can follow Jesus freely and with my whole heart.
And this freedom that God’s shown me isn’t something I can just understand, it’s something I have to believe––something I get to live! This freedom began with The Cross, and I get to live each day freely and joyfully because of that.
The truth behind the virtue of uniqueness isn’t just for a season, and it’s not just for when I want to believe it. It’s all the time, and it’s real––it’s something that’s impacted my everyday life and how I serve daily. When we understand who we really were created to be, it becomes so simple. We can surrender to our Father, serve joyfully and live freely.