Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Nothing

This is [most of] something I shared with my youth group this past weekend.

If we’re honest with ourselves, this world can be pretty hurtful. We may attempt to ignore it or be stronger than it. We can speak proudly of overcoming obstacles, but sometimes we feel pain.

This world can feel pretty void of feelings. When we think of people at large, it seems like everyone is just trying to get what they want and feel good about themselves, even if it means making us feel like a loser.

I’ve talked about my days of middle school and high school before. It wasn’t pretty. I was in the band. But to be clear, for those of you in band, I was mocked by others in the band. Without realizing what I was doing, I also joined the chess club. It wasn’t until I showed up that I realized what dagger I had put into any social aspirations I had. Or used to have.

Names like dork, loser, and geek were not far from my daily life. And apparently bursting into tears and yelling, “I know you are but what am I?” didn’t exactly help. So what are we supposed to do when we feel like a nobody, a nothing?

After all, it’s not as if thinking about God makes the pain go away. After all, there’s 7 billion people on the Earth. Are we to believe God is thinking about us? That’s to say nothing of all the people who have lived in the past. How can we believe that God is thinking about each of us, much less that He loves everyone of us?

Well, the way the Bible talks about it, God lives by a different set of rules than we do. In fact, God isn’t shy about telling us that His thinking is better than our thinking and His ways of doing things better than our ways of doing things. And so I believe it is smart for us to consider how God views us.

The world has a talented way of making us feel like we are nothing. We are worth nothing. We are born nobodies and we will die nobodies. This is interesting, because God has displayed an ability to create stuff out of nothing.

Genesis tells us that God made the heavens and the earth when there was nothing. First He created light, which was smart. Gotta see what you’re doing, after all. And then He makes night and day, the Earth and sky, land, rivers, plants, trees, the moon and stars and animals. All out of nothing. Before God created, there was nothing. After God spoke…stuff!

And then God makes man…out of dirt!

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. ~Genesis 2:7 

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them. ~Genesis 1:26-27
God made everything, including you and me, out of nothing. This is okay because of what God has told us about us.

This is the height of the creation story. We are the ultimate of created beings, because God made us in His image. He gave us everything to rule over. Because we rule.

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?
You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet:
all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild,
the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.
Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! ~Psalm 8:3-9 
David gives praise to God because it’s crazy to consider just how much God has done for us and how much He gives us when we think about just how big the universe is. And the universe is a lot bigger than David ever realized.

All of this is stuff we can nod our heads to and say we believe. But how does that help us when we’re feeling like dirt? How does this change anything when people tell us we are worth less than God says we’re worth?

I think the solution is in whose voice we listen to. If we constantly listen to the world’s voices and how they try to identify us, we’ll start to believe them. But if we listen to God’s voice and who He says we are, I think we’ll start to believe Him. It sounds simple but it isn’t easy.

We can choose to look at the reality of our lives and feel badly about ourselves or we can look at the reality that God made us and know that He loves us.

But I believe the hard work is done. We may have been made to feel like dirt by the world around us, but God can create using dirt. You may feel like nothing, but God is making something. God makes something out of nothing. If you are nothing, God can make something out of you.

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