I am a list maker, a type A, detailed planner and organizer. I confess, what I’m going to write about today was hard for me because I often feel embarrassment for being over the top in this area. (Probably because I am also a people pleaser and worry way too much about what other people think of me.)
I have often longed to be a free spirit. A spur of the moment, care a less kinda girl. Instead, I schedule my days with lists of things I feel are most productive. If I have checked everything off at the end of the day I not only have a sense of accomplishment, but also a sense of comfort.
I’m the kind of mom who would go out of town and leave 5 pages of typed, detailed instructions plastered to the fridge for her kids. If I wanted to teach them tasks around the house, I would write out step by step instructions for them.
Everything. Always. Orderly.
I viewed being this way as flawed.
But then I read Psalm 139. I read it and reread it. Over and over God has brought this Psalm to my mind. This week the verses that struck me most were that I am fearfully (*in a manner to impress adoration and astonishment) and wonderfully (*in a manner to excite wonder or surprise) made. (Psalm 139:14) And then God reminded me again when my son in law preached on the passage this past Sunday. He spoke about these exact verses before he even began his message.
Because that’s how amazing God is!
I am adoringly made in His image. (Genesis 1:27)
And so this morning as I opened my Bible I asked God to show me God. (Psalm 84:2b, Jeremiah 29:13) If I am made in His image, my heart longs to be the best representation of that image. I can only do that by truly seeking to know Him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. (Deuteronomy 6:5, Proverbs 8:17, Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27)
Today in my bible reading He showed me… but it took a while.
I was sure I would be meditating on some beautiful, poetic sonnets that would wash peace and assurance over me as I started my week. Instead, my reading had me in the book of Numbers. Usually I follow along with my Bible open as my app reads soothingly to me. Today, I just listened with coffee in hand and eyes closed. And I thought, “Numbers?? Really God? Mondays are already tough.” It’s very easy to zone out as you go through the book of Numbers. I even found myself wondering why God added this book to the Bible. (Shame!🥴) All the details and names and instructions. Verse after verse after verse…
And that’s when it hit me.
I am just like the book of Numbers!
And~ I am fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s image. The very thing that I have thought was a flaw about myself is exactly how God made me~ and He thinks I’m wonderful. (Colossians 3:10)
It’s hard for me to write that because, to be honest it sounds very pious to me. I am doing a Ladies Bible Study on control and last week I read this quote by Jennifer Dukes Lee~”As Christian women…anything that looks like achievement becomes synonymous with conceit. But that’s not fair to God’s creative genius at work within us.” That stopped me in my tracks. I mulled it over but it was still hard for me to accept.
Please do not mistake me here. I am not saying I am perfect because I am made in God’s image. We are all flawed because we are human and we are sinners. We can’t allow certain sins in our lives, and then self righteously justify those sins because “that’s just the way God made us”. My organizing, detailed, sometimes high maintenance, controlling behavior isn’t always a good thing. When my joy is based on my to do list getting done instead of Jesus, I allow sin to enter in. When I react negatively to those I love because they didn’t do something the way I wanted or told them to, I allow sin to enter in. But when I give my traits to God wholly, seeking His will~ that’s when He is most glorified.
Today I think He smiled as I listened to Numbers. Maybe He chuckled a bit, wondering when it would click~ and then it did. I am a “book of Numbers” kind of girl, formed in the image of God. Perhaps God knew my children needed that crazy bit of order in their lives before stepping out on their own. Perhaps God knows my to do lists will greater serve His kingdom when I do them for His glory. What a thought! (Philippians 1:20,21, I Corinthians 10:31, Colossians 3:17)
You may not have the same crazy quirks that I do. You might be a free spirit. You might be a Peter or a John or a Paul. Maybe a David or Mary or Martha. The crazy, surprising and astonishing thing about this is~ we are ALL made in His image. YOU are made in His image, just like I am. I’m so thankful for ALL of God’s word and the ways He shows us exactly who we are. Whatever your traits, you can use them for His glory! (Ephesians 4:11-13, 15-16)
That’s the goal.
Heart, mind, soul, strength.
I’m sure it’s one that will never be checked off on my to do list because I’m human and fail daily, but I’m so thankful for God’s mercy and love for me regardless of my failings. (Philippians 3:10-12)If I have purposed throughout my day to bring Him glory through everything I am able to accomplish, there’s a reason He gives me comfort at the end of the day. (Ephesians 2:10)
That comfort is His assurance to me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and I will embrace it. (Psalm 71:21, 139:14)
“but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.”
*Noah Webster 1828 American dictionary of the English language.