Lent 2013 – day 26

10 Mar

Psalm 136:13-16
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

In verse 14 David declares that he is “fearfully and wonderfully made” and that he knows it “full well”. As David is only human, his first comment clearly counts for us too, as I said yesterday. But do we know it like David does?

So often we can have issues with our self-esteem, whether it be because we don’t think we are good at something when we fail at it, because others tell us we are no good, because our bodies don’t match up to what society says they should be or because other people’s expectations of us are too high, as well as many other things.

One of the things that was said to me on the last morning of my 48 hour retreat was that the picture my friend had was of me sitting in a tunnel, facing sideways. What was at the end where I had come from was a lot of hurt and pain and the reason I was sitting, not looking towards the light at the end was because I was scared that it might hurt again, like before. And I think this can be true for so many of us, that we can get caught up in a cycle where we get hurt, we “deal” with it by shutting out the pain and not really moving on. Then the next thing comes along and we deal with it the same way. And eventually we start to think that all we are good for is dealing with what we know we can shut out and we ignore where we could move forwards. And when we do that we cease to grow.

When we start to think badly of ourselves we can miss the fact that God made us who we are and He loves us unconditionally, regardless of whether we succeed or fail. All He wants is for us to put our faith in Him and continue doing His will. And when we put our identity in God, we find that what we previously thought of as failure was merely a stepping stone on our journey with Him.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

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Archbishop Cranmer

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