You Have Not Escaped His Notice
Who gives a broken gift? Nobody wants a broken gift. These were my thoughts when I reflected on what I could give to God in return for His love for me.
I sat in front of Jesus searching through my bag. Life’s circumstances left me dry with a big bag full of broken things. I could not find one single gift to give to my good Lord. My heart broke because of this. I did not have anything to prove myself to my God in order to receive His love.
I heard Jesus say to me: “Stop looking through your bag. I love you. You are enough for Me. You are a gift. I will show you that your life is precious just because of who you are.” Nervous but in faith, I reached out my empty hand to Him with my eyes closed and He took hold of it. He held my hand and filled my bag with His good gifts. Love, joy, peace. Heavenly treasures.
I thought that I had to prove myself to God with successes, worldly accomplishments, and even church activities, but He showed me that I did not have to prove myself to anyone, especially to Him. That’s when I understood more the concept of rest and trust. “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew: 11:28). Come to me, all you who are burdened from trying to prove yourself and I will give you rest. For me it sounded like this..
Maybe if I made fewer mistakes He would love me more. Maybe when I am Holier I will earn His love. Maybe He will love me when I have a better income. Maybe if I got into that Masters program.. Maybe if..
When written out, these thoughts seem silly, but maybe you have similar thoughts. Maybe you think you don’t deserve His love or a personal relationship with God because of this or that. These are lies, lies from the enemy. The enemy likes to feed on our insecurities, vulnerabilities and feelings of inadequacy to manipulate us and make us feel unworthy.
Luke 9 reflects on a story about a social outcast, a woman with a bleeding disorder. “Jesus said, ’Someone has touched me, for I know that power has gone out from me.’ When the woman realized that she had not escaped notice, she came forward trembling” Luke 9:46-47.
What powerful words! She did not escape notice. Not only was she healed because of her faith, but Jesus noticed her in her brokenness. There have been many times in my life when the burden of feeling unnoticed was hard to carry. The burden of feeling unnoticed by God when illness took control of my life for months on end, or during long periods of unemployment.. The desire to be noticed is so prevalent today with trying to look a certain way, to be “perfect” so that others may acknowledge our appearance, hard work, contribution and what we offer. But Jesus notices us for who we are, not what we can give to Him. Just like the woman from Luke 9, who had nothing to offer but reached out in faith to touch Jesus, we too, need to believe that He will receive us (because He will!).
This woman was an outcast of her society. Women who were ceremonially unclean weren’t allowed to touch anyone because by law her touch would have made them unclean. With daring faith she reached out to touch His cloak, and to affirm her faith Jesus said ‘Who touched my clothes?’” (Mark 5:30). With these simple words, Jesus is:
- Seeing her
- Receiving her
- Willing to heal her and acknowledges her faith
- Saving her from her affliction
- Restoring her social standing
- Caring for her feelings
- Granting her redemption
Wow! This woman’s healing was a demonstration of Jesus’ compassion for all those who come to Him in faith. It wasn’t the well read Pharisees or the scholars of His time that Jesus came to, but those with daring faith, the fishermen, the poor and the sick that were noticed and chosen by Jesus. Imagine that, the King of the Universe, God Almighty “chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important” (1 Corinthians 1:28).
And what does the world consider important? Shining success, large incomes, worldly accomplishments and awards. Some of us involved in the Church may even fall into the trap of earning the validation from others through the busyness of ministry. As children of God, we often try very hard to “look” holy, to appear spiritually astute. We spend time managing our reputations, wasting our time and our energy on proving to the world that our strengths are worth applause.
Can we let go of that for a moment? Jesus loves you for who you are. Mess and all. When we come to Jesus in our brokenness, we are in the perfect place to open our hearts to His love and healing. If we look through the Old Testament God’s greatest servants were broken. Moses had a speech impediment, Abraham was too old, Jonah ran away from God, and the list goes on.
Jesus is saying the same to you. “Don’t worry, you have not escaped my notice! I have not forgotten you. I have engraved you in the palm of my hand. You are mine!” Spend more time alone with Jesus. Stop trying to earn God’s love by trying to look a certain way or filling all of your hours with activities. Instead, try to spend more time with Jesus in prayer and the burden will get lighter. While you spend time with Him, let Him look at you and His gaze will heal you. Heaven’s values are so different from values of the earth. You are so valuable to Him.
Let us take some time to reflect:
Take a look at the urgency in the woman’s face and the desire to seek Jesus’ cloak to be healed. What is it in our lives that we need healing from and whose love are we chasing after? Are we chasing after the world’s fleeting glory or after perfect love that endures?