When I was a kid, I used to love building forts. We had friends who lived on a property with a small forest and every opportunity we had we would run outside and start adding on to our latest wood creations. We would gather logs, tie them together with vines, raise them up, and cover them with branches so that the fort stayed partially hidden. I will never forget the feeling of accomplishment we felt when our fort was finished. It was a feeling so strong that to this day I think back on it and feel proud of what we were able to accomplish. Now multiply that feeling by a million, because you are much more complex than our little forts, and that is how God feels about you.
The psalmist David understand this and had an inspiring self-confidence that did not come from himself, but rather from his belief in the one who made him. In Psalms 139:13-14 he says, “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.” Personally, I have never openly said to someone that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. There have been times in my life when I was not happy with the way I had been made and would have chosen to be something other than what I am. We all go through seasons of doubt and insecurity, but when we go through those seasons we should remember that someone took the time to mold us into the individuals we are and created us to be unique in a meaningful way.
In the book of Isaiah, individuals are compared to clay in God’s hands: “O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8) All of us are said to be formed by God, which means that care was taken to make you just the way you are. I encourage you to watch a video of a potter using clay to make a pot. It is not a short process and it is undertaken with delicate care and attention to detail. When a pot is made by hand, it ends up looking completely unique and can be made for very different purposes.
We each have a purpose and a reason for being made the way that we are. If you struggle with hopelessness or self-doubt, know that this is not God’s ultimate intention for you. In Jeremiah 29:11 we read, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to give you hope and a future.’” When we seek him with our whole heart, he guides us and teaches us day by day about our talents and how to use them. It is not a quick process, it takes time and patience to learn how to use the skills you have been given, but it is a fulfilling one.
So how do we take steps to understanding God’s purpose for our lives? Proverbs 3:5-6 is a great place to start: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Trust in the one who made you to guide you and show you all the ways that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. It is not always easy, but it is always worth it.