“Apart from God, I’m nothing”. Have you ever heard someone say that? Maybe you’ve said it; or thought it. But is it true?
It’s over a hundred years ago that my grandfather gave his fiancée a beautiful diamond engagement ring – five top quality diamonds. Since my grandmother died the ring has remained in the family. It’s something of an heirloom. And it’s valuable, not just because of the expensive diamonds but because it my grandmother’s. It spends quite a bit of time tucked away in its box, in the dark where those lovely diamonds can’t sparkle. Is it any less valuable when it’s in the dark? Of course not!
Jesus told some well-known stories about things that were lost: a sheep missing from a shepherd’s flock; a coin that had dropped from a lady’s purse; an amazing pearl buried in a field; a son who took his inheritance and pushed off to enjoy himself in a faraway place. Did the sheep become worthless because it was missing? Or the coin, because it was caught between the floorboards under the bed? Or the buried pearl because no-one had dug it up? Or the son because he was wasting his father’s money and his own life along with it? Of course not!
We all go through times when we feel ‘apart from God’. And, maybe, something is keeping us apart from Him. But that doesn’t make us ‘nothing’. Of course, what we do apart from Him may be of less value because we are apart from Him; but that doesn’t make what we are any less valuable in His eyes. In Deuteronomy 32, Moses speaks of the sin and corruption of the people of Israel. But then he tells how God guarded His people ‘as the apple of His eye’. They were everything to Him. And so are we.
And there are times when we feel terribly ‘unworthy’. But that doesn’t stop Him loving us. Just read the Song of Songs and see how the shepherd likens the woman to a ‘dove in the cleft of the rocks’ or ‘a lily among thorns’ – both so lovely but both so difficult to reach; and how he marvels at her beauty ‘hidden behind her veil’. She feels so ashamed of her sunburned face, but that doesn’t get in the way of his passionate love.
“Apart from God I am nothing”? Absolutely not! Whatever I may be feeling about myself, I’m everything to Him.
Prayer: Father thank You so much for Your love and acceptance of me is unconditional; that You don’t stop loving and valuing me when I feel to be at a distance from You. Lord, I accept Your love and declare right now that I am Your infinitely valued child, Amen.
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