For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13-14 NIV)
Read: 2 Kings 1:1 – 2:25, Acts 13:42 – 14:7, Psalm 139:1-24, Proverbs 17:19-21
Relate: I have read a Arthurian novel series that contained a Welsh character named Llewellyn One-Eye. Llewellyn is ugly. I am not saying ugly like he has a few warts on his face or that he isn’t the first second or third choice of any woman when he walks into a bar. I am talking more like the bad half of Harvey Dent’s face except on both sides.
Llewellyn wasn’t born that way. When he was about ten years old he had been apprenticing to a blacksmith. This smith wasn’t necessarily the best of role models and was working one day a bit less than sober. In a drunken careless moment, he ended up splashing molten metal on his apprentice’s face. The accident should have killed the boy but an immediate dunk of his face into the cooling bucket ended up barely saving his life. The problem is, it also hardened the metal to his skin which now had to be surgically removed. You can imagine the scarring and disfigurement an operation like that being performed in fifth century Britain would have left behind.
The thing is, despite the horrific ugliness of his burned and scarred face, Llewellyn One-Eye is a good man. He isn’t the most talkative of people and his does lack a bit in the social graces, but he has a good heart. He is fiercely loyal. He has found a woman who can see beyond the physical exterior and he is an excellent husband, father, and friend.
React: Llewellyn wasn’t created ugly. He was made that way by others. You could blame it on a chance accident or another’s negligence/stupidity/cruelty. I could imagine the rest of his boyhood would not have been very fun. Had he allowed it, the cruelty and ignorance of others could have turned him just as ugly on the inside as their actions did to his outside. Had he chosen to, he could have blamed God for his ugliness with far more justification than many who have done so in real life.
Everything God creates is good. The problem is, what God creates, people disfigure. Every single time I sin, I am marring the beauty God has created. Sometimes that disfigurement only happens inside my own soul. Other times, like a drunken blacksmith, my sin forever changes the course of someone else’s life.
On the flip side, my life has been impacted by the sin of others. Not everything that is not good in my life is my fault. The sin of others has left its share of scars. One day God will set everything right. That day has not yet come. So my choice is to either trust that He who makes all things good can also remake all things or to pay forward on to others the ugliness that has been done to me.
God, there are areas in my past and in my memory that desperately need healing. There is hurt and bitterness that You need to operate on and remove from me. There is no way I can do it on my own. There is no way by my own power that I can ever forgive, let alone forget. So I lay it down. I recognize that in giving us free will, sometimes people do things, even to other people, that is very clearly not what You desire. I do not blame you. I do not even blame me. You have made me good and one day, when all this sin and pain has been taken away and every tear wiped from my eyes, You will make all things new. Even me.