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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Extra Great Than Being Lovely

What number of girls, as we stand earlier than the mirror, stand earlier than girls we discover displeasing, even ugly? We predict our hair skinny, our pores and skin splotchy, our shoulders sunken, our arms gangly. Even the smallest of physique elements — ears, toes, molars — can chafe with critique. They’re too pointy, too crooked, too yellow. Almost each a part of us may use extra weight, or much less weight, or a unique form or texture or coloration.

And what number of girls, as we lament the way in which we glance, are pointed to Psalm 139 for assist?

You shaped my inward elements;
     you knitted me collectively in my mom’s womb.
I reward you, for I’m fearfully and splendidly made.
Great are your works;
     my soul is aware of it very effectively. (Psalm 139:13–14)

Possibly you let your mentor in on a battle with physique picture, or looked for a useful resource on self-loathing, or lamented your measurement to a buddy in passing. Regardless of the scenario, most of us know one response by coronary heart: “However keep in mind Psalm 139? You’re fearfully and splendidly made in God’s picture! That makes you stunning. So cease believing you’re not stunning, begin believing you might be stunning, and people issues you may have with your self will start to go away.”

After all, trusted counselors and stable assets will put it extra gracefully and provide extra truths from Scripture. However maybe as a rule, we’re advised (and we wish to be advised) that our body-problems are beauty-problems. If solely we may grasp how fantastically God created us and now sees us! Absolutely then the storm clouds of self-despair would fade earlier than brilliant skies of vanity.

However what number of girls know they gained’t?

Needy for Extra Than Magnificence

It isn’t unsuitable to level girls to Psalm 139:13–14, to declare who made them, after which to guarantee them how stunning they’re due to it. His glory does flood each atom of creation (Psalm 19:1), and the atoms of mankind distinctly bear his picture (Genesis 1:27). Ladies are stunning certainly.

Even so, the counsel strikes too shortly away from God to be of lasting assist. Generally we mistakenly consider, as Ed Welch writes, that “God’s job is to make us really feel higher about ourselves, as if feeling higher about ourselves have been our deepest want” (When Folks Are Massive and God Is Small, 20). However pondering higher of ourselves spreads as skinny and short-lived a balm over our weathered souls as concealer over blemishes. The day ends, and with one swipe of a washcloth each blotch and bump and wrinkle reappears. Self-despair rears its self-focused head as soon as extra.

As a result of finally, a girl’s downside lies not in small ideas of herself, however in too little considered her Creator. And the answer is to not assume higher of her look, however to dwell upon her God. Ladies have been made for eternal worship, not each day doses of self-worth.

“Ladies have been made for eternal worship, not each day doses of self-worth.”

And actually, Psalm 139:13–14 — the very passage to which we might flip for vanity — gives a extra soul-satisfying resolution to our body-struggles. Relatively than utilizing King David’s phrases to navel gaze, let’s ponder the glory of God saturating these verses. He’s artistic, he’s highly effective, he’s close to — and he’s completely in a position to so amaze us with himself that we not should be stunning. We will likely be too busy worshiping.

Reward Him for Inward Components

We frequently flip to David’s phrases after we wrestle with outward look. However have you ever ever observed that the verses really middle on the elements of us we can’t see?

You shaped my inward elements;
     you knitted me collectively in my mom’s womb. (verse 13)

God did kind our faces. He did knit collectively each strand of hair. However what sort of Maker is that this, whose arms have woven “all issues . . . in heaven and on earth, seen and invisible” (Colossians 1:16)?

If magnificence is skin-deep, God’s artistic energy shouldn’t be. The human physique accommodates “an unimaginable wealth of element, each level of it from the thoughts of God” (Derek Kidner, Psalms: 73–150, 503). The subsequent time we stand earlier than the toilet self-importance pinching our stomachs, what would occur if we closed our eyes, took a deep breath, and praised God for making our kidneys? By God’s grace, people have created 1000’s upon 1000’s of medical applied sciences. We’ve got but to make a single kidney.

Psalm 139 reminds us that we serve a God who has made billions — and made them from nothing. Musicians make songs from notes they’ve discovered, and woodworkers whittle away at lumber they’ve purchased. However there may be one Artist who was by no means an apprentice, and the one supplies his creations require is the truth that He Is (Genesis 1:1).

And as Yahweh set about making you and me, he wielded his incomparable energy with tenderness. He didn’t throw us collectively; he knit us collectively. He didn’t depart our formation to mere organic processes; he used our moms’ wombs to carry us — precisely us — into the world. Earlier than our first cry, he knew its pitch. For it was he who intricately wove our vocal cords into existence over the past forty weeks.

Reward Him for Each Half

With such a Creator in our sights, the necessity to look or really feel a sure means fades. As a replacement stands outward-and-upward-facing reward:

I reward you, for I’m fearfully and splendidly made.
Great are your works;
     my soul is aware of it very effectively. (verse 14)

Be aware how David doesn’t decide his physique aside, solely thanking God for the items he approves. He doesn’t say, “I reward you for the way in which I used to be made — apart from my peak. It might be a complete lot simpler to reward you if it weren’t for my peak.” No, he worships God for the way in which he’s made David’s whole individual: “I’m fearfully and splendidly made.” No suggestions. No excuses. Simply reward. For David, his complete physique is indeniable proof that God is worthy of worship.

For the God who kinds our most invisible and inaccessible elements — knitting us collectively, cell by cell, organ by organ, in our moms’ wombs — all his works are nothing wanting fantastic. And although feminine souls might wrestle to realize it very effectively in relation to ourselves, Psalm 139 exists that we would.

Reward Him — and Be Glad

As we reward God for his fantastic works, he will get glory, and we get pleasure. It is not going to be the fleeting pleasure of being happy with our look (Proverbs 31:30). It will likely be the eternal pleasure of the Christian who is aware of and loves the explanation she was made: to reward her transcendent and immanent Creator God. Solely his glory, and never private magnificence, can fulfill this girl.

Mysteriously sufficient, she is going to come to consider she is gorgeous. She is going to consider it not due to what she finds within the mirror, however as a result of her soul is aware of effectively that the God of the universe made her, loves her, died for her, rose for her, lives inside her. So content material is she with who he’s for her in Christ that her spirit sits nonetheless, quiet, and exquisite earlier than his eyes (1 Peter 3:3–4). The battle to consider ourselves stunning can’t be gained until fought throughout the Better Battle: the battle to search out God extra satisfying than anything in creation.

Psalm 139 gives the sort of meditative drugs aching girls most want. With its assist, we will start to understand the unparalleled artistic energy and intimacy of our God. And in greedy extra of him, we set out on the (lifelong) journey of needing magnificence much less. There will likely be far an excessive amount of of our Creator to see, perceive, and revel in to concern ourselves a lot with ourselves.

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