Do you struggle with worth and value? The lie that we aren’t valuable is one of the most dangerous fallacies the enemy uses against us. If he can make us believe we aren’t valuable, we become joyless and self-focused. I’ve struggled with it for years, especially when I was a stay-at-home mom alone with little ones all day. Yet, even now I battle thoughts of worthlessness and hidden-ness even as an author.
The world values platform, money and success, and if we don’t achieve these, we don’t feel valued. Even if we know better—our minds know better, but our hearts may tell us otherwise. Even when others tell us how important we are to them, we place the world’s measuring stick up against our vision of ourselves and disagree.
In those value-less places we feel hidden. Our life hasn’t measured up to our hopes. We don’t feel seen in our jobs, our churches, or our families and this stirs aches in our hearts.
You knew that was coming, didn’t you?
But . . . the world is wrong. We are wrong. (If we feel worthless.)
We’re wearing the wrong spectacles. We’re looking through the wrong lens.
We need God’s view. Take every heartache, every hidden, worthless feeling and filter through God’s truth. Our reading plan this month is about hidden things.
Bite of Bread Reading Plan
This month you can download a printable of the picture above or you can download a journal-type printable like the older Bites of Bread from the past. Some of you prefer this printable to walk you through the month of scriptures. I love it!
You are of Great Value to God
We were made in the image of a holy, good, loving, wise, beautiful, generous God whose economy is not the same as this world’s. He is the measurer and judge of success.
And though we were born into this world, we are not of this world. We were made for so much more. We need an eternal focus.
Jesus said, “Do not store for yourselves treasure on earth where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust don’t destroy, and thieves don’t break in and steal. For where your treasure is, your heart will be also.”Matthew 6: 19-21 NIV
You’re a Pearl
Just in case you struggle with believing you are valuable to God and seen by Him, there’s a wonderful parable Jesus told that tells God’s perspective. It’s the parable of the pearl of great value.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it”Matthew 13: 45-46
Many times this parable is explained as the kingdom of God as the pearl and we the merchant, but I once heard the testimony of a woman who experienced this parable in a whole different way. She told her story of coming back to God after a life-time of addiction. In a sweet moment with the Lord, He showed her she was the pearl of great value for which He gave everything . . . His Son . . . His life. My friends, He has done the same for us. He’s that crazy about you.
Treasures Grow in Hidden Places
If today you feel hidden, remember that some of the most beautiful treasures of the earth are created unseen by anyone else. Diamonds and pearls come to mind. Diamonds lie hidden in lumps of coal. There’s nothing pretty there. Lilies and tulips bloom from bulbs buried for months. Hidden places are place of growth.
Hidden for Protection
There was once a young girl, a beautiful treasure who was hidden away too. She’d been taken with many other young women to the king’s citadel where none of their families could see them again. Her name was Esther. Her real name was Hadassah, but her identity was hidden for protection. Her Jewish heritage could cost her her life, so she was given a Persian name by her adopted father, Mordecai. Esther’s name in Hebrew even means “hidden.” Sometimes we are hidden for protection.
Hidden for Preparation
Esther was not known in Persia before this contest. Before taken into the citadel, she was an ordinary girl, an orphan adopted by a family member. Her life had not been easy. Yet, Esther’s (Hadassah’s) life was a time of preparation. I wrote this in Radiant Influence:
We never want to go through hard things. We spend most of our life trying to be comfortable and happy. But often our difficulties and pain become places of preparation. Faith does not prevent suffering, but faith provides strength to walk through doors of great purpose often opened by sorrow and strife.Radiant Influence: How an ordinary girl changed the world p. 22
Rather than hating where you are today or bemoaning the place of hidden-ness, ask the Lord to help you use this place to prepare you for what is coming. (The enemy will HATE that!)
A Book No Longer Hidden
Five years ago I wrote a Bible study on Esther in faith. I had signed a contract for two Bible studies on Ruth and Esther. Ruth was published, but the request for Esther never came. So, that manuscript was tucked away, hidden from the world.
Last summer I reformatted that study, pitched it to CrossRiver Media, and another book was born. God’s timing is perfect. He is faithful. Ya’ll I write this to you to tell you, “Don’t give up.” God never wastes anything. Walk with Him. Keep a faithfulness journal of all His faithful acts He does for you everyday. This is one of my suggestions in my new Bible study. In those hidden, seemingly worthless places, God is faithful. He is working. He is preparing, protecting, and shaping us for our purposes.
Keep your eyes on Him and hide His word in your heart. You are of great value to the Lord.