Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Wrestling with our Insignificance


I've been feeling insignificant lately. When I say that to people they looked kind of stunned, like I've lost my mind, but honestly that's exactly how I feel at times. See, for me, I completely get that God is significant, but wrapping my little fingers around the thought that I am is a whole other ball of wax. So, today, after therapy, (yes I go to therapy and highly suggest you consider it) I realized I had to deal with this issue, because it's been like a monkey on my back that drives me to distraction.

My life has not been dull, if anything that is an understatement. I have had my share of horrific life experiences, physical issues have been unrelenting, and the emotional skeletons in my closet have had a hay day anytime I open the door. Despite all of that I have somehow managed to live a pretty decent life and have been thankful for all that God has blessed me with. So why the issue of insignificance here? For starters, I keep saying to myself, "Why would anyone care what thoughts or words I have, and why would they matter?" and then I would follow with " I must have lost my mind to think anything I have lived through would mean a hill of beans to anyone else" ( see the pattern here?) Oh, the self-doubt and talk are quiet telling. What's even more telling is that my conversations with God have been like, "Ardith, you are too hard on yourself, I love you, come get a hug, I created you unique like no other, hello, you do matter." Yet, for all of what I hear him say I still at times give into the notion that I am totally insignificant. Hmph! What gives?
So, I gave this more thought and asked God to show me what I need to get here and this is what he said. "It's time to read the book of Job, Ardith." Eeeeekkk! I have avoided that book like the plague. I read it a long time ago, and know all about his story, but it wasn't one I wanted to dive in to because I was hoping and praying God wasn't saying to me that I had to walk down Job's path to get his point across. I'm standing here going "Hello, OK, I get this, can we call a truce, I give it all to you and I go on to live a happy life?" Oh if it were that easy.
As I began to read I quickly realized that there was more to this than Job just losing everything, putting total faith in God, and then getting it all back. Job had to understand that he actually was "insignificant" in relation to God's significance.

Job 40:4 (Job says) "Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to thee? I lay my hand on my mouth, Once I have spoken, and I will not answer, Even twice and I will add no more.

Job wasn't saying here, Oh God, I'm a mess, even though I have lived a good life, I really don't matter much do I?" What he is saying here is that you, the almighty God are the significant one and in you I am significant as well. Do you think he thought for a minute, while he was walking through pure hell, that his story would be important and God would use it for his glory? I doubt that. I have a feeling Job was stunned, not quite understanding why he was being afflicted and made to suffer, and trying his best to make some sense of it. In the end, what he did was remarkable. He truly placed his total faith in God and gave him the glory. Look at what his story has done thousands of years later. Look at how God made the story of Job SO significant!

This was quite a revelation for me. I had been feeling insignificant, which in reality I alone am, but in the eyes of God, I am just as important as my neighbor to him and my story, like yours, is significant as well. And how can I apply this to my five minute walk in this world? It gets interesting here. With every breathe I take, despite my mood, my feelings, my circumstances, if I honestly walk with God in those minutes, he will use them for a significant purpose. His significance makes me significant. How about that! And then I look back at Job and realize what he lost, what he lived through, and what he learned. He lost his family, his wealth, his health, and on and on. Looking back at my life, and I am in no way saying I have suffered like Job, I have dealt with being a crime victim, a victim of sexual assault, a victim of auto mobile accidents, a victim of poor health, a victim of substance abuse,a victim of divorce, a victim of depression, a victim, victim, victim. I have lost a lot, but it all doesn't matter if I am not willing to say that despite it all my faith is in God and he alone is worthy of my praise. It also won't help me one bit if I get on my pitty pot about being a victim and pitch a royal fit. Will it change one thing? Not... so then I begin seeing the lesson God wants me to learn in this, that in him I am significant. He wants me to see that my circle of influence goes way past what I actually see and comprehend, so being willing to first understand that and second trust that he knows way more than me is why putting total faith in him is vital.
I wish I could say that this ends the lesson but it doesn't. As I drove home today I realized how far back the insignificant feelings go for me, all the way back to age five, and I realize there will be work to do on this subject. What I at least know for today is that the gifts God has given me are all significant in him, he will use them if I choose to give them to him, and he will move mountains if I am willing to simply kick the first rock down the hill. We all have our gifts don't we? We all are really good at some things. So my question to you is this? Are you willing to cave into the idea that you are insignificant and don't matter, or are you willing to consider that in God, your gifts, or acts, or kind words, may be the very ones that could totally change the life of another person, and bring them closer to God? Something to think about isn't it?
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