Long lay the world in sin and error pining. Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
The line above is from the Christmas carol O Holy Night. It is one of my favorites. My very favorite is Good King Wenceslas, but we’ll leave that for another time.
I love that line! What a deep truth it reveals. “He appeared and the soul felt its worth”. Our souls are in desperate need to feel their worth. And the truth of the above carol is that at His “appearing” this can happen. Has Jesus appeared to you in such a way? Does your soul feel its worth?
I believe far too many of us who know the Lord do not recognize our own worth and value. It is as though we are infected with a low grade sense of guilt, often tainted with a smattering of shame. Many times I have asked the question of groups of people in ministry “who here feels like the Lord is pleased with them, please raise your hand?” No hands go up. So logic follows- “if He is not pleased with me, then He must be displeased or disappointed with me”. And that mindset is where the Lord’s sons and daughters often live. Self-efforts are made to shake off such a feeling through “working hard or being good” but these attempts eventually fail. And we find ourselves with the same old familiar uneasy feeling.
Here is what I think it means for my soul to feel its worth: His unimaginable yet undeniable love for me while I was still lost in my sins, shows me my worth. The Savior’s appearing to rescue me from sin, death and personal destruction shows me my worth. The fact that the Lord of Lords actually wants to have a relationship with me shows me my worth. The reality that the Sinless One took into Himself my sins shows me my worth. His death on the cross for me shows me my worth. And trust me – I could fill pages and pages with similar truths.
Here’s the good news; my soul’s worth and value do not come from me, or what I do. I cannot add to it or cause it to diminish. Why? It comes from Him, who He is, the Unchanging One, not me.
A soul that recognizes its worth draws close to God and begins to open his or her heart to the One who can be trusted. A soul that knows its worth does not take license with grace- it embraces grace with humble gratitude. A soul that knows it worth allows the Lord to shine His light into all the cracks and crevices of the heart, allowing life and healing to bring needed transformation. A soul that knows it worth runs to God when it sins and does not lurk in the shadows of denial and excuses. A soul that knows its worth can see the worth of those around him and love for neighbors and enemies alike begins to percolate and permeate.
May the Lord continue to open our eyes to who He is, really is, not our weak images of Him often crafted in our own image. Because as He does reveal Himself– there we will find a Father who welcomes us with open arms, pursues us, wants us. In those arms we will feel our worth and find ourselves home (for Christmas) at last.