When your life is over God is not going to ask you why you weren’t your boss or big sister or your dad. He won’t ask you why you weren’t Moses or Mother Teresa or Joanna Gaines or Jeff Bezos.
He’s going to ask you if you were the best version of you.
We are each uniquely gifted persons, particular creations of God, with a certain package of abilities, and our own personality. Nobody’s thumb can unlock your iPhone except yours.
If you don’t serve God, your family, your job, your church and your community in the way only you can uniquely serve, then the job won’t get done the way only you can do it. Others can replace your position, but nobody can replace your person.
You are “God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works” (Ephesians 2:10).
One mother found this note in a pair of jeans her daughter brought home after finishing a year of college. The note was worn on the creases, a little ripped on the edges, obviously pulled out and folded and tucked back in those jeans often. The mother had written it the previous fall for her daughter. It read:
“I’m so glad that you are you, and nobody else. Only God knows your full potential, and he is guiding you toward that best version of yourself all the time. He has many tools, and is never in a hurry…He never gets discouraged by how long it takes, and he delights every time you grow. Only God can see ‘the best version of you,’ and he is more concerned with you reaching your full potential than you are…You are not your handiwork; your life is not your project. Your life is God’s project. God thought you up, and he knows what you were intended to be.” 1
Believe that right now God is working relentlessly to make you into everything that his creating and forgiving grace has already declared you to be. He has forgiven your past mistakes more quickly than you have. He has designed you and is developing you with gifts that you haven’t yet fully realized. He speaks to you in his recorded words in the Bible and disagrees with the condemning voices you listen to—far too often—the teacher or coach telling you that you’re a failure, a parent disappointed that you’ll never be good enough, a peer proving that you don’t have what it takes.
God sees a better version of you than you will ever see. But it is one that you can believe in, because it is designed by his powerful and true promises.
PRAYER: Dear God, when I want to fashion myself based on others’ expectations or the lies I believe, interrupt this small thinking with your bigger, better version of me. Based on truth. Designed by your love. Believed by me. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Read Acts 9:36-43. We meet a wonderful woman of faith and charity, named Dorcas. The needy appreciate the clothes she sews for them. Her friends see Jesus in her acts of kindness. Then she gets sick and dies. Peter comes. He prays. She lives again. Her good works and acts of charity continue. They don’t even have to try to replace her—which might have proved impossible, because who could ever do the good works Dorcas does!? What are your good works that glorify God and others would say, “Nobody could ever ________ the way that [your name] does.” Pray about this. Ask God to keep you humble, but also let you rejoice in his handiwork. Be specific. It’ll help you clarify what God wants you to do today.