Thursday, March 31, 2011

Beautiful Clay

Isaiah 64:8
"But now, O LORD, thou art our father;
we are the clay, and thou our potter;
and we all are the work of thy hand."

These days, image is everything. Just take a trip to the mall. Turn on the TV. Glance at any magazine. Just look around for a moment and you will see that "image" has become somewhat of a priority in today's world.

Nobody knew that, years ago in my early teens, I was really struggling with my image. I wrestled on a daily basis with how I looked and, I am ashamed to say, that I was very unsatisfied with God's handiwork. I hated my thighs, I wanted a flat stomach, I wished my arms were smaller and my legs were more sleek. I would too often compare my body with those around me. I would see only my faults and then dwell on how unappealing and unattractive I was. Like so many girls and women, I believed the lie that my outward appearance determined my worth. Sadly, I know many of you girls reading this will understand and relate....and that breaks my heart.

I didn't know it at the time, but I was hurting myself. Looking back, I can see the damage I did to my mind. It played a major role in my attitudes. I would sometimes stay home from various activities for the sole reason of not wanting to be around "those skinny, perfect girls." What a battle it was!

But there was another battle going on inside me at the same time. Maybe it is going on in you as well. God was trying to get my attention. Oh, I tried to ignore His Spirit but, thankfully, He kept pursuing me. Finally His conviction became unbearable and I found myself turning to Him and His Word. As I flipped the pages of my Bible, I was bombarded by gentle reminders of how beautiful, special, and loved I was - and not just by my family or friends - but by God Himself! I realized that only God could fill my needs. I saw that no matter how thin or "model gorgeous" I could be, it would never be fulfilling because true fulfillment comes from only one place - Christ! The clincher was when I was reminded that my body is not my own. My body doesn't belong to me, it belongs to God! It is His temple, the dwelling place of Jesus...

1 Corinthians 6:20
"For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."

My transformation began when I believed and received God's Word. I began to reprogram my thinking. Being human and constantly pitched at by Satan, it is still a struggle sometimes, especially now that I am waddling around 9 months pregnant, but God continues to remind me of His truth. As I look back, I am so grateful for all that I have learned about my Creator and Savior.

Unfortunately today we, girls and women, are bombarded by images of those "perfect" girls. All the different diets and "fast weight loss" programs, all the make-up, hair supplies, injections, surgeries, and enhancers can make your head spin and your self confidence plummet. But I challenge you to refuse society and its attempt to make you self-absorbed, and concentrate on simply radiating Christ. I lost sight of the fact that God created me exactly how I am. He didn't just make me, He FORMED me. Like a potter takes clay and molds it into something amazing and beautiful - GOD took me in His hands and, day by day, is working to shape me into what He desires me to be. Psalm 139:13-16 says that He shaped me from the womb. He lovingly took me in His hands and molded me. He chose the right shade of blue to put in my eyes. He gave me my ears, my nose, MY mouth, my arms, legs, face.... and He said it was good. That's an amazing thought alone! For the Creator to take a piece of clay and view it at beautiful! What a God we serve...

As one who has "been there, done there," I want to encourage you all to not dwell on your outer beauty. Sure, take care of the body that was given to you by God, but do not make it a top priority to have perfect skin, a flat stomach, or silky hair. Do not compare yourself with Hollywood's "models" and celebrities. Do not fret or look up to God, disappointed with His work. Outer beauty WILL fade. What matters is the beauty of the heart and the beauty that showcases God's beautiful work inside a changed life.

1 Peter 3:3
"Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."

Genesis 2:7
"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."

Proverbs 31:30
"Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised."

Deuteronomy 32:18
"Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee."


Anonymous said...

I do enjoy your writings Kristen. Such real life life! And you are true to God! I appreciate it very much.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that! It is something I have struggled with, especially when friends are TINY. It's easy to want to go shopping for clothes that show of your body, and sometimes it feels like guys only like "thin" girls. This isn't true, and any guys who perfers outward size isn't worth your time... except to pray for a change of heart in him. :) But anyway, thank you! I needed to hear those things you are saying. :)God Bless.

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