I love night time. I love a starry sky, how the dark blue cast of the sky seems to never end, and the feeling I get when the moon is in the waxing crescent phase. I’ve always been a night person; I guess it’s just the time of day that I thrive.
Moreover, the nighttime is special to me for reasons than the ones above. I’ve found that for me, the night has also served as a time for self-reflection and time with the Lord. I recently started to take walks around campus at night, at the times that there aren’t really any people out, and I can hear God if He chooses to speak to me. I used to have a hard time accepting myself, and if I’m being honest, there are still parts of me that I have a hard time receiving. Since my return from the mountains, I’ve found it especially difficult to accept good things about myself as really good, and this has been weird because I know that I accepted myself in Colorado. I was talking to God about this not too long ago, and I think His response is worth reflecting.
I think it’s safe to say that at one time or another, someone has said something to us that hurt us—and probably more than we wanted it to, in reality. One thing that people have consistently pointed out in me over the years is that I’m sensitive. Even as I write this, I can hear the mocking voice, the hissing sound of comments like, “you’re too serious” (which is an odd one because I’ve been accused of not being serious enough too), “you care too much,” and “you’re too sensitive,” and “you’re too soft, you need some tougher skin.” I’m sure many of you have heard something similar to that too, even if it was regarding something other than your sensitivity.
How crazy is that, though? We’ve given sensitivity a negative connotation—we’ve almost made it a “bad” thing to feel things, to have feelings to be hurt.
I’ve had many talks with God about this because after the number of times I’ve been told I’m sensitive, I’ve started to think it was a bad thing, and that sensitivity is something I should change about myself.
I think God figured it was time to let me in on a secret that most people struggle with their entire lives. We’re not too much of anything. God put it to me like this: we’re made in the image of a perfect God; a Guy who doesn’t look away when He’s pouring His coffee and carelessly allows the coffee to overflow and spill everywhere. We’re each made with a specific purpose, a plan, and the correct amount of everything God wanted us to have.
My initial thought was that He’s wrong. There’s just too much evidence that I’m a default, I’m where He went wrong; there’s too much milk in my latte. God was like, “dude, shut up, you’re like an amazing latte.” It’s true dudes. He said it, not me.
And He also said that I’m allowed to be an already amazing latte-in-progress.
Right now, He’s whispering the same thing to you, friends. You’re already an amazing human, and you’re allowed to be already amazing and growing.
“All of us, then, who are mature should take such view of things. And if at some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained.”
In this passage and the one before it, Paul is explaining that he is trying to forget about the past and focus on the prize of the future—Jesus. I think we can take a couple hints from Paul on this one.
I love verse 16, only let us live up to what we have already attained. I think this serves as encouragement for me when I hear that I’m “too much” of something. As difficult as it is to hear that I’m too sensitive, I’m trying to see myself how God sees me: an already amazing latte-in-progress. While I’m searching for His perspective, I’ll also be chasing after the prize—Jesus.
Let yourself be yourself, and God will show you the next thing when He knows it’s time.
You’re allowed to be growing and improving and amazing all at the same time. That’s what He meant when He said that God makes impossible things possible.
And yeah, maybe I am a bit sensitive. I can also be naive. And sometimes, I forget about grammar, and write in run-on sentences, and forget how to use a comma. I get really excited when I hear the words ice cream and let’s go get in the same sentence. I have a million dreams and believe I can accomplish all of them. I have to give myself pep talks before doing anything scary.
But I care about people, and I’m learning to love others well.
None of these are the end of the world, and none of them make us bad, or default, or mistakes. We’re not sensitive, I’m not sensitive. I’m amazing.
One overwhelming, too often looked over, message of the Gospel is that we are not what we do. We are children of God. We are loved. We are masterpieces.
And I didn’t say it about myself, He did, and He says it about you too.
Take a walk this week and see what He’ll show ya.
grace and peace.