This week covered Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah. I remember having a total “a-ha” moment when I read Ezra for the first time. The Bible as a whole had never been made more real to me when Ezra reveals to the king that everything that had happened to Israel in the exile had all been predicted by the prophet Jeremiah. I actually posted about this way back when. I’ll probably talk about this more when we read Jeremiah, but I am glad I wrote that post as it is such an encouragement to me now. Weird how my blog encourages its own writer. It was a different world back then; before my dad had cancer, before one of my closest friend lost two of her babies, before all the craziness these past two years have held and the world made sense. Reading my thoughts then, Sam of June of 2010, encourages the Sam of February 2012.
Well anyway… what I had planned to talk about before getting lost in my blog… was about the book of Nehemiah. One of Nehemiah’s task when he came back from Babylon was to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. As he’s building, army officers of Samaria show up and say,
What does this bunch of poor, feeble Jews think they’re doing? Do they think they can build the wall in a single day by just offering a few sacrifices? Do they actually think they can make something of stone from a rubbish heap—and charred ones at that?
This was so funny to me. These officers obviously don’t know our God. Our God is famous for taking the dirt and scum of this world and creating beauty from it. And I am so thankful for that. No matter my ridiculous choices and the dirt of my past, God is creating a work in me and will continue His good work in my life.
When I read these words I thought of a story my friend Rachel had just posted, the speaker crumples a dollar bill and asks if the dollar lost its value. Of course it didn’t. His point was this:
Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We may feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who do love you. The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know, but by who we are.
This is the same of God. He loves us and we find our value in Him.
The original photo above is from Flickr... text added by me.