Liz Curtis Higgs
"And God said, 'Ta-da!'"
"For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation."
Psalm 149:4 (NASB)
Feeling less than likeable? A far cry from beautiful? Today’s encouragement from God’s Word might be just what you need to change your view.
First, the Lord takes pleasure in you. He doesn’t simply accept you, forgive you or put up with you. He delights in your company. He celebrates your place in His kingdom. "As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you" (Isaiah 62:5b, NIV).
What about your family history, your personality, your popularity? People worry about those things, but not the Lord.
So, your education, your resume, your bank balance? Impressive or not, none of that changes how God values you.
Even your behavior doesn’t alter His kind affection for you. His love is unconditional and irrevocable. God doesn’t love you because you’re wealthy or clever or good. He loves you because you’re His. "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!" (1 John 3:1a, NIV).
Even more good news? The Lord says you are beautiful. Not just slightly attractive or marginally appealing. Beautiful. You are lovely to look at because "God created mankind in his own image" (Genesis 1:27a, NIV). And that includes you.
As today’s verse, Psalm 149:4b, tells us, "He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation." You are beautiful beyond description when you’re covered in His grace.
We are endlessly obsessed with our earthly appearance, doing everything possible to look our best, to measure up, to please others. Yet invariably, we look in the mirror and are disappointed with the results.
But not God. He knew exactly what He was doing the day He knit you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13).
Some women are quick to say, "Maybe God was pleased when He made me, but I’m not sure He’s happy with how I turned out …"
Listen. God knows your first breath and your last (Psalm 139:16), He counts every hair on your head (Matthew 10:30), and He stores all your tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8). Our God? He is not surprised or disappointed with how you turned out. He loved you then, He loves you still and He will love you forever.
We get in trouble when we compare ourselves to others, always finding someone who is younger, taller, thinner, more athletic, more graceful … the list goes on.
But God does not compare. God does not clone. Each of us is a unique work of His creation. You are God’s definition of beautiful for you, beloved. Are you ready to see yourself as God sees you?
Here’s a simple exercise I’ve been teaching women for ages. Every morning, stand in front of a mirror (fully dressed, of course), stretch up your arms with joy, and say it like you mean it: "Ta-da!"
Feels good, yes? Looks good, too. You can’t say it without smiling, which always improves things. "Ta-da!" is the LRV (the Lizzie Revised Version) of "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good" (Genesis 1:31a, NIV).
We’ve all known beautiful women who, when they opened their mouths, quickly lost their appeal. And we’ve also known average-looking women who love the Lord with all their hearts, and it shows on their radiant faces. Gorgeous.
When the light of Christ shines through us, we are utterly transformed. That’s the real story, the hope of glory, the ultimate "Ta-da!"
Father God, many of us have struggled with our appearance or sense of worth all of our lives. Let this be the day we turn away from the world’s lies and embrace the truth of Your Word and the beauty of Your Son. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 139:14, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." (NIV)
Ecclesiastes 3:11a, "He has made everything beautiful in its time." (NIV)