If you look up the word insignificant in the thesaurus you’ll find terms like meaningless, unimportant and worthless. Yesterday, I blogged about the tamarisk tree and how insignificant it looks at first glance. Upon closer inspection it is so much more. It provides food. Many believe that the manna from Heaven came from the tamarisk. A gift from God. It provides drink and shelter (my geekazoid gets all excited about this process).
The tamarisk’s cooling mechanism has to do with its status as a halophyte, a plant that thrives in salty soil. Foliar salt glands excrete salt particles onto tamarisk leaf tips and, to verify this fact, just lick a bundle of tamarisk leaves; you will come away with a lastingly salty impression. During the night, air moisture condenses onto the salt particles caked on the tamarisk’s leaves. Then, as the weather warms during the day, this same moisture evaporates back into the atmosphere, cooling the air beneath the tree in the process.
Now, I’m not writing this post to repeat what I wrote yesterday. No, I’m writing it with a greater purpose in mind. YOU!
I’m no stranger to feeling insignificant. I’ve often heard “you’re worthless” chanted loudly inside my thoughts. Sometimes, I’ve even misconstrued other people’s words. Things like, “you’ll do better next time” turn into “you’re worthless”. And of course, I’m sure there have been times when I’ve actually heard those words. Giving the speaker the benefit of the doubt, they were most likely said out of anger and not meant from the heart, but still . . . it doesn’t mean they hurt any less.
I haven’t quite mastered “take captive every thought” (I Corinthians 5:10), but I’m trying.
Again, this isn’t really what this post is about. Not really. When the feeling of overwhelming worthlessness enters our minds, we do need to take those thoughts captive and toss them into the fire where they belong, but we also need to combat the mental roller coaster with intellect, Godly wisdom. If we don’t understand our worth in the eyes of God, then how can we capture the thoughts of worthlessness and do away with them?
First we must understand our worth according to God.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
I love Psalms 139. The entire passage speaks of God’s loving care from before our first breath and through out eternity.
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Do you see that? Not one sparrow is lost to God, and if He cares enough to know the whereabouts of such tiny creatures, does he not care for our beings? Yes, yes He does. Luke says we are worth more than many sparrows. He even knows the numbers of hairs on our heads!
For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
1 Timothy 4:4
I know. I know. Most people coin 1 Timothy 4:4 with food and drink, but those things are temporal. I am eternal. You are eternal.
So let’s break down this passage with eternal beings in mind.
For everything God created is good. I am good. You are good. We are not worthless. We are good. Nothing is to be rejected. Not me. Not you. Yes, I realize there is an if inserted, which implies a condition. That condition being nothing is rejected if it is received with thanksgiving. Let me assure you, if you are reading this blog post, you, my friend, are being received with thanksgiving. I am thanking God for you as I write these words, because I’m praying for you. Whether you have a personal relationship with God or not, I’m praying for you. I’m praying that you’ll see your worth through God’s eyes. I’m praying you’ll no longer see yourself as insignificant. I’m thanking God at this moment that you have been set apart (consecrated) by His word and by prayer.
WE. ARE. NOT. WORTHLESS. No matter how many times we hear it in our heads, God says otherwise. Now that we understand our worth in God’s eyes what is the second way we can combat feelings of worthlessness?
Understanding we have a purpose in life.
You see, I believe we were created for a purpose, and when we aren’t fulfilling that pupose we tend to allow, and sometimes dwell on, thoughts of worthlessness.
From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
. . . by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, . . .
2 Timothy 1:8-9
I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me.
Like the tamarisk tree, we can seem so very insignificant. And too, like the tamarisk, upon closer inspection we see a purpose for our lives, a purpose, which may be buried beneath feelings of worthlessness. There are layers and depths to our purpose that even we, ourselves, can not comprehend. Those layers are revealed to us as we draw near to the Lord, which can only come through prayer. He desires for you to know Him. You are worth more to Him than silver and gold. He thought you so significant that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
So, how do we combat the feelings of worthlessness?
1. Understanding our worth through God’s eyes.
2. Understanding we have a purpose in life.
3. Take every thought captive.