Sometimes I doubt that what I do matters. I let insecurities and doubts about myself consume my mind and in turn, I start to believe that I’m not good enough. Not a good enough daughter, not a good enough sister, not a good enough, friend, not a good enough writer, not a good enough person, not a good enough anything. I have found security and reassurance in the truth that while I by myself am not good enough, I am enough and because of Jesus, I can be good enough. If you’re like me who struggles to find the significance in what you do, I want to share a story that refocused my mind to the purpose of it all, reminded me of why you and I will always be enough, and expressed why what we do does matter.
One day long ago, God sent His Son, Jesus, as a baby to the world through a virgin named Mary to save us all. That was the beginning, or so we think, of the most epic love story this world will ever hear of, but Jesus had a choice. Jesus was a Prince. He was royalty; He could have stayed in heaven and doomed us all to eternal death, but He decided to leave all His riches behind for our sake and that was when this epic love story began. Jesus said yes to the Father and to us because He loved us so and that mattered.
What makes a love story a love story is the decision to say yes to love.
I remember the first time I said yes to God. I was 8 years old in a pink skirt and brown boots. It was so easy at that age to completely humble myself before Him and boldly live by faith. I don’t remember asking God, “Are you sure about this?” or “Are you here with me?” or “Can I really do this?” I don’t remember ever doubting Him or my capability in accomplishing anything He called me to do because I wholeheartedly believed in Him. When I start straying away from my 8-year-old heart, I go back to the beginning of my story when He first spoke into my heart. And as I read page after page, I am reminded of who my Author is, with each word I read I see that He has always been there, and with each chapter, I start believing that I can do this because I’ve done what I deemed impossible before through His almighty grace. What I’m trying to say is when doubt starts to creep into your mind, go back to the beginning of your story, start reading what has already been written, and keep living out the the story He has already written out for you because only you can do it. No one can be the main character in a story that’s written about you. You are capable of being you.
Jesus did so much while He was on earth. He healed the sick and casted demons out. He raised the dead. He walked above the waters. He turned water into wine. He fed thousands with the lunch of a boy. He was always humble to the point where He spent His last moments with the disciples watching their feet and praying for them and us. He made people whole again. He forgave easily and had mercy on many. He told stories and taught with His words. He did everything in love. He made a difference. He was a light of hope in a dark world and every step He took, every word He spoke, every miracle He performed, everything He did mattered.
I remember the first time I felt that what I did mattered. The church my family went to at the time had a kid’s choir that I was a part of. We would sing in front of the congregation once a month or so, and every time one of us kids was chosen to lead the worship. One month I was the chosen kid. This was a pretty big church. There were at least a few hundred people in the audience, but I don’t ever remember feeling more fearless in my life. I was by no means a good singer, but my heart was pure. All I wanted to do was please God and God saw that. And that’s what flowed through me up on that stage. The love that I said yes to poured through every off-key note just like God’s love in Jesus poured out through everything He did on earth. Jesus was just like you and me here on earth. He was human, but His love for the Father made Him more. Because of God’s great love we are capable of being fearless, to live bold for Him, and to be used by Him for anything and through everything even an off-key voice. You are capable of being used by Him. Just open up your heart and let Him fill you up.
The day came when one of His disciples, Judas, betrayed Jesus. Jesus was troubled and asked the Father if there was any other way to save the world, but Jesus understood that His death was the only way to save us all. The Pharisees captured Jesus and beat Him until His back was shredded skin. The people had a chance to set Jesus free but they chose a murderer over Him. They mocked Him and placed a crown of thorns on His head. They made Him carry His cross just like He would carry the sins of the world. They nailed Him to the cross one nail at a time. Jesus saw them all as they ridiculed Him, yet, He asked the Father to ignore their ignorance. They planted the cross with His body nailed on it between two others. One of them challenged Him saying, “If you are Christ, save yourself and us.” The other one asked Jesus to remember him when He makes it back to His Kingdom. Jesus knew that many people would be like the first guy mocking Him for as long as they will ever live never believeing in Him.
He did not weep for the suffering He was facing. He wept for all the ones who will never believe in Him and let alone love Him.
But through His blood stained tears He saw you and me, and He knew that we were worth it, that we mattered, the we would believe in Him, that we were enough for Him, and with His last breath He said, “It is finished.” The sins of the world were instantly poured upon Him, and the Father couldn’t bear to even spare His Son a glance, but in that moment His love washed away all our sins, and in that instant the Father spared us one long eternal glance.
Christ’s mission was to save the world by sacrificing himself. Our mission isn’t any different. We are called to “deny ourselves (put away our selfish ways), take up our cross, and follow Him” (Matthew 6:24). In order to be used by God we need to deny ourselves. It’s not going to be easy in a world that is centered around the word “you.” Choosing Christ is putting Christ first, others last, and you second. There will be times when you will be betrayed by those closest to you, but I have learned that it’s better to forgive than to hold a grudge. There will be seasons of what seem to be lonely, but I have learned that loneliness is a lie that died on the cross with Christ, although I give in to that lie too often. There will be people who will rise against you, but I have learned that this battle is not between people but between spirits, and Christ has already won it through the fulfillment of the Word. There will be times when you won’t feel capable of continuing on, but you are capable of carrying out His mission.
We all know how this story ends, but to that point, I noticed how it all mattered. Every single deed that Jesus did while here on earth mattered when we look at the big picture. See, Jesus came down to earth leaving everything behind to not only fulfill God’s word by dying to save us, but to give us reasons upon reasons to believe in Him. Every single step He took, every single word He spoke, every single miracle He performed, the death he suffered was a reason to believe in Him. So, if you’re thinking that what you do doesn’t matter, think again. Every single thing that you do, your art, your music, your words, your photography, your service, anything and everything you do matters.
Everything matters. Every little thing, every big thing, every unseen thing, every seen thing matters. It all matters because we matter.
Jesus did all that He did because we matter and as His children, children of Light, we are to shine the same light of hope and love that He did through what we do because all those souls living in darkness matter. There will be times when our calling, our purpose, will trouble us like it did Jesus and we will want the Father to save us from it, but like Jesus did we should respond with the following words, “No, it was for this very reason that I can to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” (Luke 12:27). Even if we reach one person, it matters. We can’t reach everyone. Not everyone we reach will believe, but someone will. You were Jesus’s one person, and if you were the only one to ever believe in Him He would die for you over and over again because, child of Light, you matter and you are good enough to be His Light in this dark world. So, shine brightly.
When we are passionate about something, like Christ was about us, it matters. And when something matters it has the power to cause change, and change is the resurrection of something new, of life.
words and photo by Maali Padro