Ever had one of those life lessons that was so profound that you experience it over and over again, and each time you experience it, you gain more understanding, more depth?
I’ve mentioned this to friends before, but I can’t help but think on it again. I was reminded recently of the truth found in 1 Samuel 16:7
But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance or on the height of his stature, because I have refused him; for the Lord seeth not as man seeth. For man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
In this scripture, we find Samuel seeking the Lord for guidance in finding a King for Israel. The Lord teaches Samuel, that He does not look at things in the same manner as we do, He sees into our heart, He sees who we truly are, and the potential we possess.
Not long ago, I cleaned out my closet and purged it of all maternity clothes. I made an appointment with a local resale shop to take everything in and see what they would take.
Having no experience in this process, I washed everything up, folded it nicely, and placed it in a GARBAGE bag. To my dismay; it is extremely faux pas to do so. I was enlightened to this truth immediately upon arrival to the store. I was not greeted with a smile or a, ‘Hello, welcome to our store,’ I was greeted with a snide, ‘we don’t accept clothes in a garbage bag.’ She must have sensed my embarrassment, and quickly said, ‘BUT I’ll look at it just this one time.’ After apologizing several times I walked through the store hanging my head until she was done looking through my clothing. To my surprise when she called me back her demeanor had changed entirely. She was ecstatic with what I had brought to her; she bought everything and gave me well over what I had hoped to receive. As I left I apologized again for the garbage bag, and walked out to the car. As I sat there getting ready to back out of the lot, I looked into the store window and saw she was changing her mannequins’ clothes to a couple of the items I had brought to her.
That action caused me to stop and think. Sometimes we (me included) are much like the lady at the shop. We see people coming to us that aren’t what we expect, we don’t think they look as they should, they don’t talk as we think they ought to, they don’t appear to be someone we are willing to accept, and our first reaction is to say, ‘we don’t accept clothes in a garbage bag.’ We immediately dismiss something or someone that had we taken the time to look at and spend time ciphering through and getting to know, we may find that they are exactly what we are looking for and need, someone with great value and talent.
Some of the people I enjoy most in my life are people that at first thought I wanted nothing to do with and for whatever reason God kept bringing them back and ‘forcing’ me to spend time with getting to know. I am thankful for that ‘forcing.’ It is through these individuals that I have learned something valuable about myself, and have had help from getting through difficult times in life. What I couldn’t see from the outside, God knew better, He knew within them was something that I needed. I am so thankful that He does not look at us the way we look at each other. If that were the case, how many blessings, how many healings, and how many comforts would we leave on the table?
If we are honest, we’ll also admit there are times when we feel like we are the one inside of that garbage bag, unworthy, hopeless, and useless, tossed away unwanted by society. I am so thankful that when He looks at us He sees through the messy garbage bag of unforgiven sin and sifts through taking the time to pull it all out showing us just how valuable we are to Him.
Samuel sought the Lord for direction in selecting the King that God had ordained to reign over Israel. Had Samuel not sought after the Lord, he would have picked the first son that walked before him, and if he had how different would history be had he not waited to hear from the Lord?
What about you or me?
Where would we be had we not taken the opportunity to give the Lord a chance, seek Him, and allow him to pull us from our mess of sin?
Maybe you aren’t quite there yet, maybe you are finding yourself still in the midst of feeling unworthy, unlovable, un-everything. Maybe you need reminded that God looks at the heart. He sees through your mess and knows how priceless you truly are. I encourage you take heed to His Word. Understand His thoughts are not your thoughts. Intentionally seek Him. Dive into His word and develop a relationship with Him. Allow him to show you your worth. To start this process look at the decision before you and…Choose Him.