I hear people talk about Biblical figures… Saint Paul, Saint Peter, The Prophet Isaiah, Father Abraham…
These terms bring to mind extraordinary people who have lived lives so fabulously righteous that they were singled out by God, over the billions of other people in the history of existence, to a special status of holiness.
“I’m no saint.” You may say. “If I walked into a church the roof would probably collapse!”
I’ve heard people express a sadness that, “after what I’ve done, God wouldn’t want me around His people.”
Are you sure about that?
I’d like to share with you that the Bible is chock full of total losers. That’s right… people that have made truly, exceptionally horrible life choices and who faced some serious challenges. Let’s begin at the beginning, shall we?
There was Adam and Eve, who had ONE rule and failed to follow it.
Their son, Cain, murdered his brother in a fit of jealous rage.
Noah was the single person on the whole face of the earth that God chose to save from the flood and, upon getting off the ark he immediately got schnockered and passed out naked.
Moses was a murderer. He also stuttered and had some major self-confidence issues.
Abraham got his slave girl pregnant because he wanted a child and then, when his wife got pregnant, he kicked the girl and her son to the curb.
Jonah exhibited some serious bi-polar tendencies.
David was an adulterer and a murderer.
His son, Saul, allowed his (many, many, many, many…) wives to lead the people into idol worship.
Peter had raging temper issues.
Thomas lacked faith.
All 12 of the disciples were often fairly slow on the up-take when Jesus was trying to explain things to them, and all 12 of them (well… 11, at that point) ran and hid when the soldiers showed up to take Jesus away.
Paul stoned Christians to death.
I’m sure you get the idea. The people who God chose as leaders and teachers for all of humanity were very flawed human beings. I have a theory as to why God chose them. It’s because we are all very flawed human beings.
The Bible tells us that “ALL have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.” (Romans, chapter 3)
But God loves us anyway.
He put us together carefully, to be exactly the person he wanted us to be. (Psalm 139:13)
He knows every detail of who we are. (Luke 12:7)
He forgives us when we do wrong. (2 Chronicles 7:14, Matthew 6:14, 1 John 1:9 and a gazillion other verses)
And he has a plan for us: each and every one of us. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Even if we’ve made mistakes or have “issues” that seem to put us at some sort of disadvantage… maybe especially those of us that feel that way… he has a plan for us. After all, if you have many children and one of them has special needs, which one gets the most love and attention? The one who needs it, of course!
As you go on about the business of being alive today, be aware that God loves you exactly how you are, exactly where you are. If he could love the losers in the Bible, he can love anybody! Does he (or she, if you prefer), desire for you to grow and improve? Of course! Isn’t that what every good parent wants for their child? But he loves you right now. A LOT. More than you can imagine. And he has a good and worthy plan for you. A plan to prosper and not to harm. A plan full of hope for the future.
Be encouraged, my friends, and enjoy this day and the days that follow.