Who doesn’t love a Fairy Tale with a happy ending? Throw in a Prince, gorgeous costumes and settings and you have a winner! A night out watching the new Cinderella movie certainly delivered! No rewritten unusual takes or dark downsides, Cinderella got her Prince and her happy ending. And my girls’ night out did not disappoint and I was fortified for the holidays with my boys!
The original Cinderella movie had great quotes. Who can forget “A dream is a wish your heart makes when you’re fast asleep.” And true to the original Cinderella movie this lastest rendition delivered on its share of quotables. I love the introduction with the line “She saw the world, not always as it was, but as it could be…with a perhaps a little bit of magic.” Good outlook on life to have I’d say.
My most favourite line though is “Would who she was really be enough? There was no magic to help her this time. This is perhaps the greatest risk any of us will ever take—to be seen as we truly are.”
It causes Cinderella to ask the Prince: “No princess, no carriage, no parents, no dowry, I don’t even know if that slipper will fit—will you take me as I am—an honest country girl who loves you?” Her future happiness, her future life period was dependent on the Prince accepting her as she was, the real her. No Fairy Godmother to dress her up this time as she faced the Prince. Just her – exposed and vulnerable.
But how freeing for her, the Prince’s response, “of course I will”. No need to pretend, she could relax and be her. When we allow ourselves to no longer hide behind masks or pretend to be someone we’re not and to embrace everything that makes us uniquely us we are just as free. God created each of us uniquely and He delights in who we are. He delights in our uniqueness.
The way God sees us matters more than any thought that we’ve had or comparison we’ve made or what others have said about us. Often though it is those voices that clamour insistently in our brains and drown out what God has to say about us. We need to be as brave as Cinderella and embrace who we are.
Our stories too have a happy ending, for we stand before a King – the King of Kings, who loves us just the way we are.
Ok, so the lyrics of a Christmas Carol have inspired me! It’s funny what songs you find yourself singing at random times! But it’s a good question! Although don’t worry the answer isn’t taking me down a Christmas inspired route with tinsel and bells, but rather to the mirror.
What do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you see your flaws first, the things you don’t like about yourself? Do you find yourself doing a stocktake of grey hairs or wrinkles? Or bemoaning the shape of your eyes or mouth? What about the invisible parts of you? Do you find yourself looking at an invisible mirror that reflects back your personality, your intelligence? Maybe it reflects back how poorly you think you are doing as a mother, friend, worker….Do you have times when quite frankly you don’t even like yourself?
And believe me, the enemy loves it when we question and criticize what we see in the mirror. He’s at the ready with barrage of words to assist. Worthless…ugly…dumb…unnoticed….unlovely…failure…guilty….I could go on, but I am unwilling to assist the enemy with his negative adjectives!
The best defence is the God defence! You see, when I started singing (well in my head singing!) this song, I heard this phrase “do you see what I see?” as if God was saying it and not the night wind or the shepherd boy! But God saying it of us – “Do you see what I see?”
Do we? Do we really see ourselves as God sees us?
Straight away we can put a red line through the negative words that we say to ourselves or carry around in our hearts. For that is not what God sees when He looks at us. He sees a person who is beloved, treasured, fearfully and wonderfully made, chosen, called, greatly loved, purposed and predestined, redeemed, holy, a new creation, a royal priesthood.
I heard someone recently recount how they had taught “Siri” (Apple’s personal assistant app) to call him “Your majesty”. If I ever get around to installing Siri on my phone I might be tempted to do the same. A little bit of royalty in my day can’t hurt me! But laughs aside, make sure that you are letting the words you say about yourself line up with what God says about you – what He thinks about you and what He sees when He looks at you! We need to give the enemy no chance of rebuttal with his words of condemnation.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3)
“you are precious in my eyes, and honoured, and I love you” (Isaiah 43:4)
Being the summer holidays we’ve been having a lot fun and amongst other summer activities we have explored a lot of different playgrounds. No matter the playground though, it is only a matter of time before my 3 year old is calling out to me to “Mummy, look at me! Look at me!” His enjoyment at the playground definitely includes ensuring that there is an audience to watch the slide he will take or the monkey bars he will climb.
In the trials we walk through or even perhaps the mundane that we endure, I am sure that our hearts too sometimes whisper or cry out – “look at me!” Not so much. of course, for the reaction my son was after – the “aren’t you clever….brave….etc.” reaction, but for the knowing that God sees us. Sometimes too in the pouring out when no one else seems to notice or care our hearts cry out to be encouraged, to know that we are seen by God.
I love the story that Bobby Conner shares about giving a lady in her 80’s a prophetic word in front of thousands of people. One that the Lord had told him would give this lady’s life meaning and purpose. I could imagine the excitement – what noble, amazing word was going to follow?! But the word was simply this – “Yes, honey, I saw you picking that duck.”
To me, and I am sure to others who heard it at the time, and also to Bobby Conner, it seemed like a confusing and very underwhelming word. But to the lady it meant the world! On receiving it, she laughed and she cried and then she shared how decades earlier, as a young woman during the war, the only job she could find was one that had her on a dock plucking feathers from ducks to be used for military clothing. One day in desperation, she cried out to the Lord, “Oh God, do you even know where I am?”
And yes God did see and know!
God sees, God knows and God loves you!
You may feel insignificant, small or unimportant, you may feel unappreciated by those around you. But you, you are not unnoticed by and you are certainly not insignificant to God. He knows who you are and where you are. He knows your circumstances and what you are going through and He cares because He loves you.
You don’t even need to cry out “Look at me! Do you see me?” because His eyes are upon you, His grace is around you and His love is upholding you. In God you will always find encouragement.
“Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live.” (Psalm 116:2)
“For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9)
“Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.”
I love this line from the carol O Holy Night. Our Soul wants to feel of worth, of value. And we all search for that worth. We can rush around life looking for it in status, possessions and prestige, in appearances and position. But inevitably they fail and let us down. They fail to provide us with a true sense of our intrinsic worth. Or even if we think in one aspect of our lives we’re nailing it, we can be sure that a litany of faults, failures and mistakes will crowd in and take over. Value, worth and significance is not found on this earth, but in Christ.
In Christ we find our inestimable worth. We discover how much we are valued, cherished and loved by the God who created us in the first place. And in that we find the meaning of Christmas. It is often quoted that Christmas is a time of giving, but actually it is really about receiving. Receiving the gift of the Son of God. Receiving the Saviour who covers our imperfections, failings and sin and to give us grace, forgiveness and redemption. And gives us our worth.
I am forever grateful for God’s unconditional love of me, for the gift of His Son – my Saviour
Definitely Good News and glad tidings of great joy!
I was recently gifted a CD from a lovely woman of God. Listening to this gorgeous CD there was one particular song that captivated me. Titled “what colour is the wind”, the song is about a blind boy singing to his father what he knows of the colours of the world from what his father has told him. I was particularly taken with the lines “I know each colour, its shape and size, I’ve seen them all, with my Daddy’s eyes.”
This little boy saw the world through his father’s eyes. And it was a world injected with love. His favourite colour was gold – the colour of his father’s love for him.
The question is, do we look at the world through our Father’s eyes – through God’s eyes? Do we see the whispers and demonstrations of God’s glory through the sunset and the sunrise, through the rainbow and the stars at night? Do we see others as God sees them? Do we see their potential, the gold, the treasure in each and every person?
More importantly, do we see ourselves as God sees us? How would He describe us? You can be sure that He’s not focussed on our limitations, our failings or our faults. He would say – fearfully and wonderfully made, the apple of His eye, His treasured possession, my child. He would say I’m more than a conqueror, a co-heir with Christ, the head and not the tail, chosen. And most of all LOVED.
Loved by Him.