Etching. It’s a process that requires repeated scratching. Sometimes even acid is used to powerfully etch a design into metal. Etching is abrasive, corrosive, and ultimately damages the material being processed. Yet once the process is complete, and the damaged parts are wiped away, what remains is stunning…beautiful…breathtaking. Etching leaves an impression behind that is a result of the process. Have you ever thought about your heart, soul and spirit being etched?
It’s true! My heart, soul and spirit are what truly make up the person that I am today. Yes, I’m short in stature and my caboose is wider than the average load, but there is beauty in this vessel. That beauty was created not by the easy, gentle, feather weight experiences in my life. No. My beauty came from being etched. What one person might see as damaged, God sees as perfect because He uses His mighty hands to guide the experiences…the materials with which I was etched.
When I was a teen, I always wanted an ID bracelet. Anything engraved with my name was a big deal. When my first boyfriend offered me his identification bracelet…shiny and silver with his name etched artistically into the hard, cold steel, I wore it like a badge of honor! I saw that wearing the etching of his name identified me with him.
You see, as a young woman, I failed to see beauty in myself. I failed to see my identity in anything of great value. I certainly didn’t see any eternal value in me. Oh, but dear Sister, God changed that in me. You see as I grew older, and was a young bride, I looked back at the experiences of my life. I had been broken down. I was spoken to with abrasive and corrosive words. I was treated as worthless and damaged goods. I was told that I should have been cast aside because I most certain had nothing to offer.
Words, actions, and hurts etched away at my vessel. Shards of the material which I was created from began to pile up on me. I found myself weighted down under the piles of metal shavings. Weighted down to the point that I believed there was nothing good left under the mess. Finally, with no where left to turn, I remembered Psalm 30:2-3. “Oh Lord my God, I cried out to You. And You healed me. O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.” The only person who could save me was God in heaven.
As I began to pray, and acknowledge that while I had been etched deeply, God saw beauty in me. Only He could see the beauty that lay beneath the piles of shavings…shavings from my heart, my soul, my very spirit. God proved the truth of His promises and answered my prayers. He allowed me to begin to live Psalm 30:4. “Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me, for You are my strength.”
My Lord lovingly wiped away the scratches, and corrosive so abrasively used against me. He polished my vessel. He showed me that by trusting in Him, and the mighty power of His Son who died for me, my etchings were beautiful. My identity became found in Christ alone. No longer was there a need to find my identification in people, places or things. The God of the universe love me so much that He sent His Son for me.
“Peace I leave you, My peace I give you to, Not as the World gives, do I give to you…” John 14:27 clearly stated when God had shown me during the wiping away of the shavings…the wiping away of my hurts, fears, and shavings of my life before Him. Almighty God, through my decision to trust in Him, overcame the deepest etchings of my soul and replaced them with overwhelming quiet, calm tranquility that could come only from the peace of Christ Jesus. His peace wiped away the shavings and revealed something beautiful. My identity was and will always be in Him.
I am beautiful. I am worthy. I am loved. No longer is this life broken down, damaged, worthy of nothing more than being dumped into the garbage pit. Christ Jesus, and His calming peace slowed my racing heart and my never-ending thoughts of worthlessness. Like the beauty of newly fallen snow…undisturbed in the quiet twinkle of the heavenly stars, my soul can now find rest.
I thank God for love, mercy, redemption, and peace. I thank Him that He could see something beautiful and worthy of His love even when this world couldn’t. I will forever proclaim His goodness. “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness. To the end that my glory my sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.” Psalm 30:11-12
As I celebrate the peace that transcends understand God has provided me. I pray you too will allow God to take off the sackcloth…the old baggage filled with despair and loss. Let Him wipe away the shavings, and reveal the beautiful etching of you that He can use for His glory! Let Him cloth you with gladness that comes only from Him. I promise you will be forever changed.