Jeremiah 1:4-5 “Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.’”
Did you know that before you were born the Lord knew you? It only makes sense when you understand that He is the one who created your body, gave you your DNA, and equipped you for a special purpose. From day one He fashioned you to be exactly who He wanted you to be. So why do we often try so hard to be someone else?
This past week was so joyful. We spent it with all the little cousins. Aunt Catherine, Uncle Jesse, and the kids came to stay, and, despite the crowded house, we had a blast! I could hardly get enough sweet smiles, sticky kisses, and tight squeezes. Who needs TV when you have a passel of adorable young’uns to entertain and keep you hopping?
As the week progressed the thought occurred to me. Children naturally are who they were made to be. Some are more outgoing. Others are a little shyer. Some have creative tendencies and others methodical impulses. Without a second thought they do and say what comes naturally. They are not concerned about the impressions they are making on others. They don’t worry about contributing to society, accomplishing great feats, or keeping up with the Joneses. They just live day-to-day doing what they do best. And being who they were meant to be brings such great joy to the world around them.
What happens to change a child’s simple world and create inhibitions? What turning point causes one to focus more on becoming than on being? At some point in our lives pressures from the outside begin to tell us how to live, how to be successful, and even who we should be? What a tragedy!!
God spoke comforting words to the prophet Jeremiah that ring true for all of us as well. Before we were even conceived God had a blueprint for our lives. In wisdom He created our bodies and personalities to bring Him praise and glory. He has appointed each of us to serve Him in a special way and He gives us all we need to accomplish the tasks with success. He promises to shape us and mold us according to His good pleasure. But we need to shut our ears to what the world says we should be and focus on what God made us to be.
Baby Verity, as she bounced in my arms, sucked her thumb, and laid her head on my shoulder this week, did nothing other than be who God made her to be. She had nothing important to prove, nothing grandiose to give, and nothing valuable to share, yet she melted my heart and brought such joy. Why? Because she had no other agenda than to be whom God made her to be.
Has the world’s ideals caused you to focus more on becoming than being? If so, consider God’s words to Jeremiah. Before you were formed in the womb He knew you and created you to be exactly what He wanted to be. Stop striving! Stop trying to be someone else! Just be you!