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<< Encouragement for Today

Be Who God Created You to Be - Encouragement for Today - January 12, 2016

  • 2016 Jan 12


JANUARY 12, 2016

Be Who God Created You to Be

"God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’" Job 37:5-6 (NIV)

For a season in my life, I tried desperately to be a professional, buttoned-up, organized-type person. I wore slacks, for heaven’s sake. I white-knuckled a schedule and a set of responsibilities that felt like wearing someone else’s too-tight shoes. I’m amazed, when I look back now, how long it took me to realize I was playing a part, acting like someone different from the way God made me to be.

I’m messy and loud, a hugger and a crier. I like stories and meals and have absolutely no sense of routine. It was a gift to finally admit that I wasn’t made for that job, despite how much I wanted to be.

What would it look like for you to admit today what you are and are not made for?

I love today’s key verse, and I love the freedom and grace that flood through me when I read it.

So God says to the snow, "Fall on the earth." That’s it. Just do one thing. Just fall. And then He says to the rain shower, "Be a mighty downpour." Essentially, He’s saying: Just do the thing I’ve actually created you to do. You’re rain … so rain. You’re snow … so snow.

I love the simplicity of that, the tremendous weight it takes off my shoulders. God’s asking me to be the thing He’s already created me to be. And He’s asking you to be the thing He’s already created you to be.

He doesn’t tell the snow to thaw and become rain, or the rain to freeze itself into snow. He says, essentially: Do your thing. Do the thing you love to do, what you’ve been created to do.

So many of us twist ourselves up in knots trying desperately to be something or someone else. Trying to fulfill some endless list of qualities and capabilities that we think will make us feel loved or safe or happy. That’s an exhausting way to live, and I know because I’ve done it.

What is God asking you do to? What is the thing God created you to be?

What do you do with the ease and lightness of falling snow? Many of us, if we’re honest, have wandered far from those things. We’ve gotten wrapped up in what someone else wanted us to be, what we thought would keep us happy and safe and gain us approval.

I’m finding there’s tremendous value in traveling back to our essential selves, the loves and skills and passions God planted inside us long ago.

When I look at my life, I see the threads of passion and identity I’ve carried through my whole life: Books and reading, people and connection, food and the table. These are things I’ve always loved, and they continue to bring me great joy and fulfillment.

Think about your adolescent self, your child self, the "you" you’ve always been. God imprinted a sacred, beautiful collection of passions and capacities right onto your heart: What do you love? What does your passion bubble over for?

Much of adulthood is peeling off the layers of expectation and pressure, and protecting those precious things that lie beneath. We live in a culture that tries to define what it means to be a woman, what it means to be a success, what it means to live a valuable life.

But those definitions require us to live on a treadmill, both literally and figuratively, always hustling to fit in, to be thin enough and young enough and sparkly enough, for our homes to be large and spotless, our children well-mannered and clean-faced, our dreams orderly and profitable. But that’s not life. That’s not where the fullness of joy and meaning are found.

The snow is only meant, created, commanded to fall. The rain only meant, created, commanded to pour down. You were only meant, created, commanded to be who you are — weird and wonderful, imperfect and messy and lovely.

What do you need to leave behind, in order to recover that essential self that God created? What do you need to walk away from, in order to reclaim those unique parts God designed for His purposes?

Dear God: Today, give me the courage to live the life You’ve called me to with the same contentedness and confidence as the falling snow or the pouring rain. Please help me to walk away from roles and expectations that other people have for me, and to live in peace with the exact way You created me — on purpose and for a purpose. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

1 Corinthians 12:4, "There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all." (NLT)

Sink deep into God’s everyday goodness and savor every moment! In Savor, Shauna Niequist becomes a friend across the pages, sharing her heart with yours, keeping you company and inviting you into the abundant life God offers. And there are recipes, too, because spiritual living happens not just when we read and pray, but also when we gather with family and friends over dinners and breakfasts and late-night snacks.

To learn more about Shauna and Savorclick here to visit her website.

Enter to WIN a copy of Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are. In celebration of this book, Shauna’s publisher is giving away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and email notifications to each one, by Monday, January 18.}

What is one unique thing God has designed you to do today? How can you take a step of faith to begin doing more of that in the next month?

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Zondervan for their sponsorship of today's devotion.

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© 2016 by Shauna Niequist. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
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Matthews, NC 28105