April 6, 2011

Hidden Potential

Tracie Miles

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!" 
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

Devotion:
Christ sees your value and hidden potential. Do you?

I was challenged by this thought recently after putting my son to bed.

Every night, I receive the same request when I tuck him in. He looks at me with big, blue eyes, pokes his bottom lip out for sentimental effect, and asks for a bedtime story. Last night was no exception. As usual, I skimmed the contents of his room. Searching for an item that might plant a story idea in my head, I noticed his gray sock monkey.

Instantly, my thoughts started weaving a tale about an old gray piece of cloth that lived on a shelf in a fabric store for many years. The story easily unfolded in my imagination as my little man sat wide-eyed, intently listening to the details.

When the story ended, I kissed my son goodnight and immediately felt a gentle whisper in my spirit reminding me of the truth held in today's key verse. "You were once just like that little, old piece of fabric, but God transformed you into a new creation, too."

You see, I started the bedtime story by explaining how this dull, gray piece of fabric would sit quietly on the shelf each day, desperately longing for someone to notice him. From his place on the dusty shelf, he had a bird's eye view of all the beautiful fabrics that held so much more potential.

He admired the fabrics of vibrant orange and pink polka dots that would one day be transformed into frilly toddler dresses; the fabrics with elegant stripes that would make fine draperies for beautiful homes; the fabrics with tassels and shimmering coins dangling from their edges; and the myriad of fun fabrics, adorned with colorful cartoon characters.

But he was just a boring old piece of gray fabric.

Nothing special. Nothing elegant. Nothing valuable. Old. Outdated. Worthless.

Certainly nothing worthy of being transformed into anything new and wonderful.

One spring day, a frail elderly woman wandered into the store. The gray piece of fabric could tell she was a seamstress by the wrinkled tape measure around her neck and the rusty thimble on her finger.

As she meandered around the store, continually brushing wisps of white hair from her face, she seemed to be searching for something special. Suddenly, her eyes fell upon the little piece of gray fabric tucked shyly away in the corner.

He dared to think that maybe, just maybe, she would see potential in him.

As the woman drew closer, his heart began to race. She gently picked him up and headed towards the cash register, adding buttons, fabric scraps, and thread to her hands along the way.

When the seamstress returned home, she diligently set about her task. Gradually she transformed the piece of old gray fabric into an adorable new sock monkey, to be loved and cherished by her grandchildren. He made a difference in the hearts of children for many generations.

The little piece of gray fabric, who thought he had no purpose, was transformed into something new in the hands of the seamstress. Although he felt worthless at one time, she looked beyond what he was; beyond his old life as a scrap of fabric. She saw him as something new, and helped him discover his value and hidden potential.

After telling my son this story, God gently reminded me how I once felt much like that old piece of gray fabric sitting on the shelf. Ashamed, overlooked, unimportant, and paling in comparison to others. I didn't see how anything about me or my past — any of the old stuff — could be valuable. I felt like a scrap of leftover material.

I believe God helped my imagination soar that night while sitting on the edge of my child's bed. He helped me remember that I have been transformed by Him, and although I spent most of life not seeing my hidden potential, He always had a plan and a purpose for me.

Just like that little piece of gray fabric, which was transformed from something old into something new, we are new creations in Christ.

Remember, Christ sees your value and hidden potential. And He wants to help you see it, too.

Dear Lord, help me remember that I became a new creation when I accepted You as my Savior, and that my value is in You and You alone. Thank You for Your promise of having a plan and a purpose just for me. Help me to embrace the plans You have for me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

Visit Tracie's blog to find out more about the potential God sees in you and enter to win a copy of her book, Reinventing Your Rainbow!

Reinventing Your Rainbow by Tracie Miles

Broken into Beautiful: How God Restores the Wounded Heart by Gwen Smith

Treasured: Knowing God by the Thing He Keeps by Leigh McLeroy

When you purchase resources through Proverbs 31 Ministries, 
you touch eternity. Your purchase supports many areas of 
hope-giving ministry we provide at no cost. Therefore, we are 
extremely grateful for each and every purchase you make with us. 
Thank you!

Application Steps:
Ask God to help you understand your value in Him.

Reflections:
Would my life be different if I believed how valuable I am to God? If I believed that "the old has gone, the new is here"?

What hidden potential might God see in me?

Power Verses:

Romans 5:8, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (NIV)

Jeremiah 29:11, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" (NIV)

© 2011 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
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