Paper Dolls and Cookie Cutters
“And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” Deuteronomy 6:5
“Who asked you to be like everyone else?” The voice came quietly. With strength. Passionately. His voice. The Spirit of God’s. Right into my heart. I was leaving the room where I had been praying. Not just praying. Walking. Back and forth like I like to do in the big empty room. Crying out to God. This time crying also. When I was done, I walked out, tears still at the edges of my eyes, nose drippy. He didn’t want me to traipse off into the day with the burden that had been on my heart. So He spoke.
I had been crying to the Lord about my relationship with Him. That it doesn’t look like everyone else’s. So maybe it’s not enough for Him. Maybe my love isn’t enough for Him. Maybe I don’t have enough fire for Him. Passion for Him. Devotedness to Him. I’m not like everyone else. One of my friends memorizes more scriptures than I can possibly believe. Even whole psalms. Another prays so exquisitely, so gently, so long sometimes, so clearly with the power of His Spirit, it is breathtaking. Another hears from God so easily, so quickly, so blatantly, I wonder, why do I have to beg to hear from God sometimes? Some well-known evangelists and missionaries in centuries past prayed for hours upon hours daily. For days sometimes. And fasted for days. For weeks. I have the attention span of a little kid. Oh, how disappointed God must be in me. Right? Isn’t He? I hear stories of people who have the “perfect” “devotional” life. They probably time their time with God. And have a format. A formula. A template. Certain books. Certain Bible passages. Prayer journals. Prayer lists. Organized. God must love what they do. Doesn’t He? Maybe He sighs when He looks at me. Disappointed? I look at myself in my skewed mirror. Ugh. Arg. Have I lost my fire? Has the flame died? Am I lukewarm like Jesus warns against? I am in a quiet season. A season of rest and preparation. Am I not enough for God? Is my love not measuring up to the Lord?
“Who asked you to be like everyone else?” God said. Reminding me.
God doesn’t use gourmet cookie cutters to create His kids. Nor does He make us like paper dolls to stretch out like Christ-follower clones and snip, cut, snip, cut, so we all come out alike. Pretty paper people to blow away in the breeze. God doesn’t ask us to love, worship, and serve Him exactly like everyone else, as though there’s a formula and measuring stick. He wants us to love Him with all our individual, unique, God-made hearts & lives. Forever through Christ. Totally devoted. Each as He created us to be. His own. For eternity. Bye-bye paper dolls & cookie cutters.