“This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” I John 4:10
My husband and I enjoy watching Antiques Roadshow on PBS from time to time. Just watching the show can be educational as the “Roadshow experts” typically encourage the owner to tell them what they know about the item they brought to be appraised. I think what makes the show interesting is the enthusiasm of the “experts” who give the appraisals. They talk about the kinds of materials that were typically used to construct the object of interest, say, an 18th century Philadelphia-style table (we’ll call it its DNA.) Often an item is determined to be authentic or “a fake” using that criteria along with the actual quality of its construction. I especially enjoy when an “expert” confesses their excitement over a rarely seen object that someone has brought in to be appraised. Because they have dedicated years of their lives to their particular field of interest, they know their “stuff” and often will thank the owner of the item for the privilege of handling their rare object. For me, the really good appraisers are those who help the viewer see and appreciate the featured item with the experts eyes. Where I may see a table that I think “just needs a little refinishing on the top” to make it right for my home, the expert helps me as to step back and appreciate those scratches and dents as an important part of the piece’s history to be preserved.
As a biblical counselor I am called upon to make appraisals pertaining to human relationships that have been broken. I would never claim to be an expert in the field, but over time I have learned to listen, to ask questions and to observe what is in front of me before speaking. Early in my career I learned to not make assumptions about what I saw. I learned that often outwardly perfect relationships (sometimes entire families) suffer deeper brokenness than I ever would have imagined. Where the Roadshow expert may turn a piece of furniture upside-down to assess its construction, I probe with questions to gain better understanding of my client’s experience as well as of what is going on in their mind and heart. Listening, asking questions and observing are all helpful in making an assessment. However, I gain the greatest insight into helping a client by how they respond to the Scripture. How they perceive God influences how I can help them. I do my best to help them to begin the process of healing as they learn to trust God as their essential DNA source of love and forgiveness.
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” I John 4:10)
It is as we surrender ourselves to the loving purposes of our Master Creator, that true beauty is worked out of the brokenness of our lives- those “scratches and dents” we often want to forget!
Many years ago a friend shared a special insight into Ephesians 2:10 that has been a continual source of encouragement to me. The apostle Paul wrote: “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” My friend explained that the sense of being “God’s workmanship” is saying that we are, essentially, God’s poem. Isn’t that lovely? We are a people in process who, in Christ, press forward to do good works by His Grace and to His Glory.
- Are you struggling with an old wound that has never seemed to heal quite right?
- Perhaps you are dealing with pain that is so fresh that your eyes sting when you think about it.
In either case, go to God right now . . . confess your struggle and give thanks for His authentic love being worked out in the poetry of your life. There is no one more worthy of your trust!