THE DIFFERENCE CHRIST MAKES
When a friend invited me to share my thoughts on the difference Christ makes in how I see myself, I jumped at the chance. I thought that as endlessly self-focused as I am, and considering my many years of knowing Jesus, I would be writing volumes. This was harder than I expected.
Christ made a difference in my life. Christ continues to make a difference in all aspects of my life.
As I ponder this, I take myself back to early childhood memories and I wonder if how I saw myself then was based on my sin nature or was it childlike innocence?
I don’t think it was about my self-image when, at six years old, I wondered why the miracles in the stories my Sunday school teacher told me were not happening around me. I knew Jesus was, is always and ever shall be, and that nothing had changed about his power.
Jesus loved me the way I was, but he loved me too much to leave me that way. Cliche, certainly, but still true. I see myself as depressive, pretentious, outspoken, too nervous, too introspective, too sinful, too paranoid (although I wonder if it is really paranoia when one’s suppositions are accurate) too scatter-brained, too impatient, too lazy, too fat—just generally too too human.
But here’s the over-riding truth: God most high, he who by his spoken word and outstretched arm created the earth, the skies and seas, and all that in them dwell, made himself known to me! As far back as when I was six years old, I knew him.
He’s changing me, by the power of his Spirit; he’s changing me so that I can begin to see a glimpse of how he sees me. I praise him for continuing to be intimately and intricately involved in my life, even after all these years.
Once when I was frustrated and crying in the Chaplain’s office, he said, in moment of kindness, “Elaine, if you didn’t care you’d be of no use to God.”
I’m beginning to see myself as one created by God, uniquely and strangely suited for the work and life he has cut out for me. I often pray that he will sow all of my passion and tears into the Kingdom. I thank him that he knows I am dust even though I find it hard to accept that. I pray he will take my of-the-earth earthiness and put it to good use. He is still changing me and making himself known to me.
I see myself as one for whom Christ died. That gives me value.