Every person on this earth matters.
You matter. I matter.
I’m not saying that lightly! Every life does matter!
To paint the picture of what I’m about to share, I must tell the story of where I was when the Lord woke me up and did a deeper work within my heart.
When I realized, afresh, that my life, that feels so insignificant at times, matters in the overall blueprint of God’s plans and that He has specific purposes for my life now, even at my age, it changed the course of history and eternity for me. Hopefully, through sharing a small part of my life message it may do the same for you.
I was in Florida. It was early morning in January 2019, and I found myself weeping and angry, which is an uncommon emotion for me. I was sitting with my coffee and Bible, and the knowledge that MY STATE, the state I love, had just passed one of the most barbaric laws in our history ~ the “Reproductive Health Care Act” ~ where the tearing of a child from his or her mother’s womb, even the very day it is due to be born, is now allowed; not just allowed, but on the day it passed, the new law was celebrated with shouts and cheers in the chambers by the lawmakers who voted in this horrific new plan!
Skyscrapers in both Albany, New York and New York City were LIT UP in pink and blue, (of all colors to choose) by Governor Andrew Cuomo as they celebrated their “victory” on the 46th anniversary of Roe v.s. Wade, broadcasting it throughout our nation.
Something that should make us tremble for the moral and physical safety and future of countless mothers and babies, and our state, for that matter, was lauded as a liberating freedom! “A win”, they say, for those who want a mother to be able to “choose” what she wants to do with her baby right up until the last moment.
Here’s my take on it and I’ll only say it once: What choice does the baby have? Do we find our society saying that “every baby’s life matters”? And what, in God’s Holy Name, does the “Reproductive Health Care Act” have to do with reproduction or health care? What lies ahead for the people of our great state with the lawmakers we have in office now? I shudder to think...
So there I was… sitting with this heart cracked wide open, grief pouring out for the babies. For the mothers who haven’t a clue what this will do to their hearts, their emotions, their future sense of well-being and self-worth; I was feeling more helpless than I can express.
I whispered through my tears, “Lord Jesus, I am one insignificant woman. What can I do about this horrific nightmare?”
I heard Jesus…a quiet voice within my heart, “Tell your story.” The Lord opened the right doors. I did. I did tell my story. We may never know until we reach Heaven’s shores what hearts were touched and what babies were saved.
If you are interested in reading my whole story, go onto my blog @cherishingordinarydays.com and find the blog post entitled “Beauty For Ashes”~ Part 1~ where I write about my pregnancy at age sixteen, before the days of Roe v.s. Wade. My story, however, is only a tiny part of this post. What I pray that the Lord will impart to our hearts, through my post today, is the truth that He has specific plans and purposes for EACH of our lives. God has called others down through the ages, and is asking us today, if we’re willing to allow Him to use us ~ to use our personal stories to reach the hearts of many through our own life message.
This takes courage. It’s not an easy thing to put ourselves out there for the world to see. However, if only one life is changed by our testimony, or by the choices we make or choose not to make, then isn’t it worth whatever it takes to remove our masks and be real for the sake of a life and His Kingdom? If one soul is saved, isn’t it worth it all? We are living in the days when social media is a powerful force, affecting the way we perceive people and the life they live. Social media is NOT a real picture of peoples lives. This leaves many disheartened when they compare their own lives to the lives of others. Let me say... people ache to see real! They long to hear the real-life stories... testimonies of the reality of struggling through, yet coming out on the other side a changed person... one who has learned through the trials we all face in this life.
In February 1974, the lives of my brother Bill and sister-in-law, JoAnn, took a radical change. Jesus touched their hearts and they were born again. They, in turn, began to share that amazing, life-changing love with me; my life also entirely changed when Jesus saved me. It’s a ripple effect and that’s the way the Lord designed it! Hear me out…
Jesus has given us His Word as a moral compass and a road map to aid us in finding our way through our days here on earth. He has given us examples of others who, by their actions and their decisions, have affected countless lives over the centuries, leaving footsteps we can still walk in today. It’s with this in mind, I want us to consider the ones that God uses as examples, making mention of them in His Word. They weren’t famous people. Their names were not known in most cases. But their love, courage, obedience, desperation and faith caused them to step forth willingly with the hope that their own lives and the lives of others would change. We, in turn, can follow their lead...
Think of Esther. She was an orphan. Her life may have seemed insignificant. The record of her life only points to one person who took care of her ~ her cousin, Mordecai. God saw her Esther differently than those around her did. Though His name is found nowhere in the book of Esther, His hand-writing is written throughout the pages of her story. God made a way for her to become queen; formulating an incredible plan, given to Esther by God through prayer and fasting, she was able to have inroads into King Ahaseurus’s heart and see her people and her own life spared from annihilation… a horrific plan initiated by the wicked Haman.
Treat yourself to some faith-building and read the book of Esther, recognizing this: Esther’s life was not at all insignificant! Society may have viewed Esther as a woman whose life was of no real importance or value whatsoever! Yet, because of God’s plans, the power of prayer and fasting, Esther’s obedience and God-given courage and her love for her people, she was used to change the course of history and of eternity. She goes down in history as speaking these words, “If I perish, I perish”. Esther’s life is a picture of God using the ones who may be seen by our society as “inconsequential” to accomplish His great plans and purposes.
Reflecting on the lives recorded for us as an example, one of my favorites is Mary, Martha’s sister, who “chose” to sit at Jesus’s feet found in the Gospel of Luke 10:38-42. We see that Jesus had come, and I’m sure others with Him, and Martha was disgruntled because she was left to do all the work of preparing and serving alone. In His sharing with Martha, who was complaining to Him about Mary not helping her, Jesus told her this in verse 41: “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice and it won't be taken from her.”
I love His tenderness with Martha. It’s clear from the way they spoke to each other they were good friends. But I love how Jesus assigned eternal value to Mary’s choice in seeking Him first before all else, showing us, by the illustration of her life, what He knows is necessary. Mary’s choices and her example have gone down in history and changed countless lives over the centuries, I am sure. I, for one, have been changed by Mary’s life message.
Think of the woman in the Gospel of Luke 7:36-50 who went into the home of Simon, one of the Pharisees, as an uninvited guest. She must have heard that Jesus had accepted an invitation to dine with Simon and some others that night. As she entered Simon’s home, imagine her humiliation knowing everyone was aware of her reputation. Yet, in faith, this woman still came with the intention of spending time with Jesus. She sat at His feet and began kissing them and washing them with her tears; she dried them with her hair then anointed them with costly perfume. How is that for courage? What do we glean as we look at a woman the world may have called worthless due to the life she lived?
Yet, God in His precious love for us, allowed this story to be written so that we will see that “every single life matters” to Him; our faith in Him will change the course of our lives as it did this woman’s life and as a result, the course of others’ lives.
Have you ever considered the woman with the issue of blood we read about in the Gospel of Luke 8:43-48? Bleeding for twelve years, she had become an outcast, not allowed to sit where anyone else sat, unable to share a meal with anyone; considered unclean, she was completely ostracized. Yet in her desperation, she crawled along the crowded street where she was not permitted to be and she reached out just to touch the hem of His garment, for she knew, in Jesus, she would find health and deliverance and the freedom to live again.
What faith and amazing bravery! She was desperate! She knew without a doubt, after spending her life’s savings on countless doctors, that Jesus was her only hope. Her story, over the course of history, has given courage and life to countless thousands; by reaching out and touching the hem of Jesus’ garment ourselves we can be sure our lives will be changed.
These two women, their names aren’t even recorded in the Scripture. I think, after talking through this with my son last night, that their significance wasn’t necessarily to be found in their “self-identity” but rather, in the role they played in the “larger story”…the eternal story.
The woman with the issue of blood had a name. We never learned it. Because while she mattered to God, the impact she was to have on thousands of lives had nothing to do with her actual identity and everything to do with her actions, her faith in a Living God! That is where her significance lies. No name given… until the end of His interaction with her…He calls her…"Daughter”… Oh, how I love Him!
We see that again and again throughout the Scriptures. How exciting it is to know that just as God has used the weak things of this world to confound the wise, He can and He does use us to share our stories of His faithfulness. Our life message may bring hope to those who have lost their hope; light to those in darkness, healing to the broken-hearted, relief to those wracked with grief and guilt.
All these seemingly inconsequential people whose names may never be known in society, were SOMEONE PRECIOUS to God!
Someone He chose to use to change the course of history and affect eternity… no differently than He desires to use you and use me! We are significant to God ~ each of us! He knows your name. He knows my name, as well. Others don’t need to.
Everyone’s life matters? Oh yes it does! To Jesus...it does! So in closing, I encourage you to ask the Lord, as I did, “I am one insignificant person... what can I do?” I can almost promise, He will whisper to your heart… “Tell your story”!!
On this journey together, Deb