“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name: you are mine. When you pass through waters, I will be with you; through rivers, you shall not be swept away. When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned, nor will flames consume you…. Because you are precious in my eyes and honored, and I love you…. Fear not, for I am with you;”. Isaiah 43:1-7
Who is God for you? How does God see you? Is God a loving, tender and forgiving Father? Or is He a tyrant, task master, and disciplining Father? Do you think God sees you as a beautiful child of His, wonderfully made, faults and all? Or do you think God sees you as a constant screw up, someone He is ashamed to call His?
Our experiences in earthly relationships sometimes dictate who God is to us and how we think God sees us. If you have bad experiences with earthly relationships, it can have a negative impact on your relationship with God. You may build walls that prevent you from growing in a deeper, more intimate, loving relationship with Him. You may have walls of judgement, lack of trust, inability to feel loved, shame, failure and the list goes on. Each of these separates your ability to experience the greatest love of your Heavenly Father.
Walk through this journey with me. Each day, you get up, go to work or may be you stay at home doing daily tasks. Your day ends, you go home, rest and get up the next day and do everything over again. Simple, nothing extraordinary or bad happens and life goes on. One day, you wake up and the day is different, life suddenly becomes complicated and it feels like you are caught in a raging river and are drowning. You reach up and feel a hand holding on to you. It is God holding you because He will not allow you to be “swept away”. As your life spins out of control, this trial you are suffering through feels like you are being consumed by a blazing fire. Suddenly, you feel an immense feeling of peace, a warmth in your heart you never have felt before. As you suffer in this heated moment, you are being purified just as the impurities of gold are separated from its surface in extremely hot temperatures. God is purifying you into the precious gem he formed you to be and you can feel the transformation.
As you are emerging from this fire, He speaks ever so gently to your heart telling you what you mean to Him. He says you have been redeemed. So all the sin and shame you feel, is not the judgement He passes on to you. When you screw up, He wants you to let Him embrace you tightly with His loving forgiveness, not punish you for your wrong doing. When you didn’t hear Him call you, He wants to continue to direct you towards His calling by sending you His voice in another or direct you by means of another way that you can hear Him.
He wants you to know that you are precious in His eyes and He loves you. If you have been in unloving relationships or an unloving family, you may have trouble with accepting and receiving this unconditional love from God. Over time, you built walls that place limits on God’s love, preventing you from seeing Him as a loving Father or being able to receive His love for lack of loving yourself yet He looks at you and sees a gem within you, behind the walls you have created.
So how do you remove these walls that are invading your view of who God is and how he sees you, so you can experience His unconditional love and mercy, see Him as the loving and forgiving Father? How do you see yourself through His eyes, see how beautiful and precious you are to Him? Perhaps it starts with uncovering the cause of the wall, loving and forgiving yourself, loving and forgiving others, and looking to God like a little child. Pick up your sledge hammer, His Word and prayer, and destroy these walls. Open your arms and heart and receive His love, see yourself as He sees you – the most beautiful pearl shining before His eyes. Let His hands lead you through the waters and through the fire, accepting His forgiveness and knowing He is always there giving you love and mercy. He is not dictating, judging, and punishing you for who you should be and are not, for what you should do and have not. He is embracing you for who you are, even in your weakest, most sinful moments.