Then you shall call upon me and pray to me. And when you shall seek me with all your heart, you shall find me, says the Lord. Jeremiah 29:12,13 The Ancient Eastern Text
If I were to ask you what is the best word you could use to define who you are, what is that word? No doubt you’re thinking, “It can’t be done, it takes more than one word to define anyone!” However, that is just an excuse to avoid this little exercise. Give it a try to see what word comes to mind.
Any luck? Let’s try this, use two words. What two words would you choose to describe or define who you are, how you see yourself, and how you want others to see you? At some time in our life, nearly everyone has had to find a way to describe themselves in some form or another.
Consider that when applying for a job, the goal is to draw a picture of who you are and why the employer should choose you over anyone else. This is necessary to accomplish in as few words as possible. By the way, it isn’t easy for those of us with a whole bunch words just waiting to be used, and very likely can’t be done in two words!
God described Himself in two words, I am. As the Creator, I imagine there are unlimited words God could have chosen. But He chose those two rather simple words to define Himself. So, what two words define who you are? Is it possible to accurately describe or define ourselves in just two words?
How many words would be enough to give someone an understanding of who you are? What words do you use when thinking about yourself? Consider this, the words you use to describe yourself will make themselves known to others, even if you never share them aloud. It’s called self-talk, and this talking to ourselves is given voice through the way we treat and interact with those who come into our lives. It can be a blessing or incredibly destructive to ourselves and those we touch in the course of our daily activities. Too often we are not aware that our self-talk, that silent voice, is screaming out our pain and loneliness.
God offers the insight that we need to seek Him with all our heart. He invites us to move beyond the commonplace foibles of our lives to embrace all God offers in their place. In seeking Him, our self-talk can be dramatically transformed. I see this as key to recognizing, or maybe it is better put as the key to accepting, what God longs to do in our lives. This must be viewed in context with the words of God in Jeremiah 29 and in the gospel of Jesus. Remember Jesus said if He was seen then the Father had been seen.
From Genesis to Revelation, the context of the entire scope of God’s message to us is the gospel as it is found in Jesus! And the Word that became flesh taught us the best last word is Grace. Everything God brings into our lives must be held up to the understanding that His Grace is all that matters! In seeking God, we are looking for that elusive word to find out who we are, why we are, what we are about, and that word is grace.
Philip Yancey in his book What’s so Amazing About Grace offers this, “Grace is indeed amazing. It contains the essence of the gospel, as a drop of water can contain the image of the sun.” Grace is the last best word.
“And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” John 1:16 English Standard Version