Value and good…two words that only seem to apply to money and investments. Not today! These two words have done damage here lately. I remember reading Bad Girls of the Bible: And What We Can Learn From Them by Liz Curtis Higgs and thinking I fit into several of the categories the author used to describe the “bad” women in the Bible. The writer could have very well put my name in the place of Eve, Potipher’s wife, Michal, and so on. Unfortunately, because I relate to these “bad girls of the Bible,” I still struggle with feeling of little value to anything or anybody.
When God graciously yanked me out of my muck to pour his goodness upon me I had no clue (and still really don’t) of the complexity and power of such a thing! God’s goodness covers me and covers all my sin. No Sweeter Name by Kari Jobe, is the song that has ministered to me the last few days. If you are reading this post because you too struggle with the looming name: Bad girl, I encourage you to listen to that song and let those words fill your soul!
Just recently we had a family situation come up causing my feelings of worthlessness and loss to resurface. Meanwhile, I am reading a book called Praying the Names of God: A Daily Guide by Ann Spangler that has buffered the blows. In my journal, I wrote, “Lord I just feel like I have lost my self and that somewhere between then and now I didn’t really feel or work through some of the pain resulting from the bad girl choices.”
After my long stint in the pig pin, did I just put on my “good girl pants” and start acting like a Christian?
For me that was the loaded question I grappled with for a few days until I got on the phone with my sensible, newly graduated, Licensed Mental Health Counselor friend, that is home raising, at the age of 47, her precious precocious two year old! (Forget counseling other people, she has to counsel herself everyday) While on the phone, and while her precocious precious two year old tortured the dog, the dog that was eating out of the garbage can, we grappled together with this question.
Where did and does our “value” and “goodness” come from? How do we continue to trust God and what he says when so many circumstances tell us otherwise, not to mention, when our present reminds us of our past; or when the searing pain of what someone did to you crops its ugly head up and it seems the only fair response is not letting yourself love people or be loved for that matter. But we know this can’t be! We must wage war against the battle of our culture especially against women that says: “Be independent,” “Be you,” “Take back what is yours,” and so on, these are the loud echos of girls throughout the ages that have attempted various means to become “good” again.
No matter how much trying we do to be good, we will never measure up and we aren’t supposed to. That’s another word that looms over us, “supposed to.” I think that when we become Christians if we aren’t careful and certainly under misguided terms we try so hard to be a good Christian. There is no such thing though. The very nature of the cross and redemption makes that notion a slap in the face. God is a Jealous God, He will not have that. He is ESH OKLAH, EL KANNA (Consuming Fire, Jealous God).
I don’t believe we can even comprehend this mystery, sure we know it in our head and at different levels the Spirit of God has revealed this truth, we believe this and walk in it but the mysteries are as deep as the waters, and we can barely get that. In fact, one article I read says that two-thirds of the oceans remain undiscovered. I cannot even grasp that just as I can’t grasp that God would take me, still messed up and place value over my life, give me worth, say that I am good! I just weep instead!
On the phone with my friend I remembered one particular painful time with my father and how what happened recently triggered that pain bringing up again my worth and value. While we mean well in thinking we don’t struggle with “that” anymore, surely that just as oceans remain undiscovered so does our heart. God is who searches the heart, it is God who knows and sees our innermost being. God casts all of our sins as far as the east is from the west; the same east to west that is yet unseen by man.
I bow before my Jealous God, who says I have value and worth – no possession or person can determine that for me. I am robbed in the righteousness of Christ. And even though some days don’t feel like that, or my circumstances still tell me otherwise, faith is the substance of things hoped for, not yet seen! And without faith it is impossible to please God!