Psalm 139:23-24 – Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
I recently ran across a framed certificate of recognition that I was given a year or so ago by my congregation for my leadership of the Youth Group. As soon as I turned it over, I remembered why it was stored away in a box rather than hanging on my wall.
You see, after I had received it, I put it in the trunk of my car. When I next saw it, I noticed that the writing had become smeared and I assumed that some water had gotten under the glass and ruined the certificate. At the time, things were not going well with the operation of the Youth Group and the smearing on this once distinguished recognition seemed all too appropriate.
However, now that I've run across it again and had a closer look, I realize that the smearing is just some ink on the outside of the glass. The certificate itself is not harmed at all and a little water wiped away the problem. (As a side note, things are running extremely well with the Youth Group now.)
The incident left me to wonder at just how easy it is to focus on the negative smears in our lives and forget the good that we have done. In a society that constantly demands us to be our best, to avoid failure at any cost, it's too easy to forget the good that God has placed in us as part of his creation. Yes, we are sinful; yes, we make mistakes; but YES we have a heavenly Father that blesses us and walks with us despite our failures.
Prayer: Thank You, Father that You know me for who I am, even when I'm not sure; thank You that You believe in me, even when I can't believe in myself; and thank You that Your love wipes away the smears that darken my soul, so that even I can catch a glimpse of the beauty that lies beneath. Amen.