It amazes me how God can reveal truth to us in just about anything…well, He is God.
This is my second year gardening and I am growing to love it and this is my second year that God has revealed a truth to me through gardening lessons.
As with most gardeners who are protecting their investment, I had my battles with gardens pests (even rare ones), too much rain, too little rain, soil issues and more. Yet I kept fighting for the harvest I wanted (yes there is a lesson in that, but we’ll save that for later.) I was winning many of my battles, but what was curious to me was the shape my cucumbers were growing into, different shapes and sizes…still delicious, but not the “normal” looking cucumber, so I did some research as to what was wrong.
I found many different responses and reasons why cucumbers would grow like that, but the one that stuck out to me the most was, “we have become so used to what vegetables look like on the mass market that we feel there is something wrong when we home grow our own and the harvest doesn’t look like all the rest,” (my own paraphrase).
Don’t you know, that when I read that I immediately felt a tug on my heart, oh, how we human beings apply that to everything. We have generations of people who have struggled for decades with the fact that they don’t look, act or sound like everyone else. The magazines and other media outlets weekly and even daily portray “beauty” or “real masculinity” (for our men out there) and we fall head over heels into someone else’s version of “true self.”
What we loose, especially as Christians is that God has fashioned and formed us individually, not on an assembly line in mass production. There are no two fingerprints alike and there is much more that shouts our individuality.
When I first started leading worship at our church I struggled with feeling the need to sound like other mainstream worship leaders. God in His goodness and grace kindly reminded me that I was not those other women leaders, but He created me in a separate moment in time and therefore I am as He designed me to be. That is when I began to flourish in the gifts He gave me. Haven’t we as women also struggled with feeling beautiful and comparing ourselves to other women on a daily basis? That is a dangerous habit to take up.
Psalm 45:11 basically says “the King is enthralled by your beauty…” and if He thinks so…isn’t that all that matters?
Beauty and even individuality is not mass marketed…it’s created, it was created the moment you were conceived in the heart of God. So it’s time to let go of self-inflicted expectations that you are to be like everyone else or even just like the woman who passes by you in the store. It’s time to let go of over examining our weaknesses and faults and take time to build off of our strengths (no, I didn’t say ignore weakness). It’s time to get comfortable in your own skin and stop trying to adapt to someone else’s. It’s time to love you the way God does. You are an amazing person, an individual unlike any other.
Hey, there are no two tomato plants exactly alike, right? Right. Well, you get the point.