I know the feeling of walking into a room and your presence going unnoticed. I know what it’s like to have friends walk away, siblings drift apart, and job promotions pass you by. I’ve been trapped in the torturous cycle of beauty comparison and house envy. So often, I feel like I am on the outside. No matter what I do or how much I try, I cannot seem to find my place. I cannot drop the weight, finish the task, or make people happy. I know the feeling of pressing my face on a glass wall, always looking in but never good enough to enter.
For all of us outsiders, the call is to lean in close and to know how God sees us. We have to remember the desperate lengths God went to in order to make the broken incredibly beautiful. When we lose sight of how God really sees us, we actually cannot see at all. We need our eyes refocused and adjusted to see truth. It is so easy to become self-focused and turn inwards. Yet God wants to take our backs bent crippling over and stretch us up outward and open to Him. So for today, if you are feeling self-critical or discouraged, ugly or unwanted, let us remember how God pursued those who felt just like us.
Arched over the entire Bible, God writes a love story for the one on the outside. Hagar was a servant, cast out and alone. God found her, pursued her, and rescued her. Leah, her name meaning “weary,” was the ugly sister and married to a man who did not love her back. Yet God saw her deepest heart’s desire and blessed her with an abundance of children.
The Lord saw Hannah, sobbing and heart sick for a baby. He heard her and answered. Esther, an orphan, became a queen and saved a nation. Mary, mother of Jesus, was not even given a proper place to birth a baby, but God provided constant provision for her. The woman at the well, covered in shame sought refreshment and reprieve. When she came face to face with Jesus, He told her everything she had ever done, and she became free. Martha was anxious and concerned with work, and Jesus invited her to rest.
Over and over again, God moves towards the forgotten, lonely, and unwanted. Over and over again, He sees the hearts of the beaten up, battered, and afraid. He goes out of His way to meet them in their fear and desperation. God is for the outsider, and we can find ourselves in each story of God’s rescue.
How many of us are abandoned, broken, and put out? How many of us huddle at our own shame wells and hope no one sees our sins? How often do we beg God to turn what is infertile to new life?
God is after us, friends. In our places of greatest despair, He chases us down. In our quiet longings and greatest defeats, He moves toward us. If you are feeling discouraged today, look upwards and backwards. Look at all the women in the Bible who have walked the tethered path before you. Lean in close to Christ leaning in toward you. Perhaps your point of pain is the intersection He is waiting at to bring you inside and into His deep, unending love for you.
God is for the outsider, and we can find ourselves in each story of God’s rescue. -Anjuli Paschall: Click To Tweet