Would you say that you are happy with your appearance? Even if you are not necessarily happy with it, could you say that you are somewhat content with your appearance? We have self-image issues in our world today. The model on the screen or magazine cover tells us that we need to lose some weight. The muscle man discourages us that we don’t hit the gym nearly enough. There is a constant tension of needing to be more like somebody else. We fall out of love with the person that we see in the mirror. However, there is a truth that confronts our self-image issues: God made you.
I want us to simply look at one verse in today’s reading that should hopefully encourage us in who we are. Not who we might be one day, but who we are in this present moment. God doesn’t want you to wait until the scale reads a certain number before you feel good about who you are. No, He wants you to rejoice in who He made you to be right now. There is freedom there! Let Isaiah 64:8 start to crack open that freedom.
“But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8)
The first thing to realize, and don’t sell this truth short, is that God is our Father. Think about a good, earthly father for a moment. If you have a loving earthly father, and he was given the opportunity to literally make you however he wanted to, do you not think that he would make you in the best possible way that he could? If given the chance to create you in the womb, would your earthly father not want you to be perfect? How much more your heavenly Father! An earthly father would give special attention to every detail of your being. Your perfect, all-knowing, heavenly Father has made every tiny detail of you exactly how He wanted to. And get this: He does not make mistakes! You are perfectly made by a perfect Father. What, then, is there not to be happy with?
Isaiah tells us that we are the clay, and God is the potter. Does a lump of clay have any say as to what the potter makes out of it? Have you ever heard of a lump of clay say, “Hey, potter, I would like to become a pot that looks like _____.” How crazy would that be? It is just as crazy for us, human beings, to tell God how He should make us! You see, our lack of love for the person in the mirror is not merely a put-down of ourselves. We are actually telling the God of the universe that He made a mistake by being discontent with our appearance. Doesn’t that make it more eye opening? God has not made a mistake and we should not be living as if He has. We are simply clay that has been shaped by a perfect Potter. Mistakes are not possible when the Potter is perfect!
The last part of Isaiah 64:8 says that we are all the work of God’s hand. You did not somehow slip through the cracks and get created by some imperfect, third party “god.” No, the sovereign God of heaven has created everything and you fall into that category. You have been created for a purpose and your image has been perfectly woven together for that specific purpose. God did not create the earth to be 90% capable of what the earth should be. The oceans aren’t operating at 80% capacity. Everything, including you, has been perfectly created to fit the purpose for which it was created. When self-doubt creeps in, you can say with confidence that you are the work of God’s hand!
Before we end, I think it is necessary to point out that I believe in being a good steward of your body and taking care of what you have been given. This writing is not an excuse to put zero effort into taking care of God’s temple (1 Corinthians 6:19), or not to offer your body as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1). I think that there is fruit from good stewardship of our bodies that we should be striving for. However, the point of this writing is to simply find a contentment in who you are. You can be happy with how you were created while still wanting to be more faithful with your body. Today is less about stewardship and more about knowing and believing that you are exactly who God made you to be. How you look and feel in this present moment is exactly how God made you to look and feel in this present moment. How freeing is that?
I pray that you leave today encouraged, walking in a new freedom in who you are. Your heavenly Father has made you in the most perfect way. He had a blank slate and could have molded you in any way that He wanted to. He made you perfectly, just as you are. God had no intention of making you look like the model on the magazine cover. If He did, you would look like her. God had no intention of you living in the gym until you look like the muscle man. If He did, you would look like him. God intended for you to look like you. You have been perfectly molded. You can certainly trust the Potter. You are free to fall back in love with the person that you see in the mirror.