Thursday, February 13, 2014

Finding What Matters in a Cornfield {You Are Valuable}

I love living in Iowa. Don't ask me why, but there is comfort in the surrounding cornfields. And I didn't even grow up rural.

There's one thing I've learned from living the rural life (well more than one, but I'll try to stick to the point). It's this: when someone invites you to look at their tractors, you just do it. It's like in some cultures where they hand you a plate of food, you have to eat it or you insult them. Doesn't matter if you're hungry, gluten-free, allergic- you just eat it. It's kind of like that with looking at tractors. It shows respect. You are taking time and interest in the other person.

So when our dear friend invited our group out to his sheds to see his antique tractors, we all said, "Yeah, tractors sound awesome" and headed out to the sheds.

Sometimes when you take the time to invest yourself in other people, you learn stuff along the way. That's one thing God showed me that day. Because I learned a lot by looking at those tractors- and very little of it had to do with farming.

Our friend has two sheds of tractors. They are rival manufacturers, so he keeps them separate so they don't fight. Standing amid the antiques, I heard some valuable words about the value of my soul.

1. Size Doesn't Matter. You Are One-of-a-Kind.
The models of tractors were arranged by year and make. But the value of each tractor wasn't based on it's size, it's age, it's horsepower. It was based on it's rarity. The most valuable tractor was the one of which they made the fewest models.

Guess what- that's you. God only made one kind of you that year you were born. There are no replacements. Your value isn't based on your number of Facebook friends or the inches around your waist. It's not about how strong you are or how many kids you have. Your intellect, your personality, your gifts all go into making you the person you are, but they aren't what defines your value. You are one-of-a-kind. No one else can be you, and that's a good thing.

2. Your Maker Matters
Right, duh. But seriously, the things that last are the things that have been well made, at least with farming equipment. There's a reason even city folk know the name John Deere. It made it's name on quality. And people pay big bucks for the name because they know what they are getting.

When we take the time to remember who our Maker is, and that He doesn't make junk, we have to acknowledge that there is huge value in us, and every other human, simply because He made us. With care.

3. Condition Condition Condition Matters
It's why people pour big bucks into restorations- because every collector knows that the condition of the antique plays a huge part in its appraisal.

Your baptism clothed you in Christ- in His death and resurrection, in His perfection. That's how God sees you, through the sacrifice of His Son. That is a big deal. We gloss over it. We forget it. We get wrapped up in the emergencies of right now, and we forget we have been made new. So when our bodies, our tongues, our thoughts fail us, we know that God doesn't look down on us in exasperation. You are no less valuable than your "holy" Pastor's family or that church member who volunteers for everything. You are a child of God. You are made new. God has restored you. He has made you new.

"From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation." 2 Corinthians 5:16-18 

One More Thing... 
I know these lists usually work better in three's, but this point had to be made.

4. You Are Worth What Someone Is Willing To Pay
When it comes down to it, any antique is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. You can price it based on what you think it is worth, but if no one thinks it's that valuable, it ain't gonna sell.

No one values you more than God. Not even you. Especially not you. We put price tags on our worth. We price ourselves by what we think the world sees, by what people say to us and about us.

Here's the deal- God was willing to pay. The Father was willing to pay for you with the life of His One and Only Beloved Son. And even if you were the only one on earth who needed it, He still would have done it. I'm not saying He did this because you are so awesome you just earned it. I'm saying He did this because He created you for Himself, and He wanted you. He sees value in you because He made you and because He loves you. He sees more in you than you do because He isn't blind to the care He put into making you.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 
Psalm 139:14

You are going to base your ideas of your worth on something- either yourself or someone else. How about we base it on the truth? God is truth. Let's base it on what He says. Let's base it on His Word. It might take a trip to the cornfield to remind us where to look, but if that's the case then may this blog be your virtual cornfield. You are worth so much to the King of Kings. More than you know. I pray you see that, know it, believe it, live it today.

Linking late with the lovely Simply Beth!