The idea that we are “perfect just the way we are” is difficult to square, both from a biblical perspective and also in light of the lived experience of so many people. How can we talk about “perfection” when human suffering surrounds us and when we ourselves are confronted with our own imperfection? This week, Vince and Jo are joined by Naomi Zacharias, leader of Wellspring International, RZIM’s humanitarian arm devoted to helping at-risk women and children. Together they consider what it means to affirm that we were created “very good,” while also recognizing that we live in a fallen world that includes disabilities and birth defects. If God makes us, how can some people be made with such physical challenges? How does Christ meet us in the midst of imperfection?
This is such a great discussion on a topic that the whole world struggles with. In our inner being we have that “oughtness” of how things should be, and yet we are constantly reminded that they aren’t.
I have a friend with a great sense of humor, and she refers to this life as a “bus stop” meaning a brief engagement in the present that is filled with the hope in our destination.
Amy Orr-Ewing has been presenting a great series on Esther on TBNUK, and she talks about how God comes down and walks through the trials with us. He is present and active.
I think of how these precious souls who may be wrestling with a disability (be it physical, mental, terminal, birth defect or that manifests later in life) are all so precious to God, and He is constantly reminding us that He is not hidden or limited in the imperfect, but rather shines brightly as He works in and through the lives of His precious creation, managing all the details and never missing a moment.
This is what I have to remember for myself as well because sometimes it’s very hard to see when He manifests His glory in my unfitness. But I trust Him with the outcome even in times when I don’t see the good because I know His promises are true and reliable.
Paul talks about the thorn God does not remove in his life, and he owns it because he understands it brings right thinking and right relationship with the Lord in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9:
Because of the surpassing greatness and extraordinary nature of the revelations [which I received from God], for this reason, to keep me from thinking of myself as important, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan, to torment and harass me—to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might leave me; but He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me.(Amplified version)
This tells me when He brings glory and attention to Himself rather than us, the individual is “very good.” Perfection only manifests in the Person of Jesus Who even suffered disfigurement during the Passion.
I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
it has melted within me.
My mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
you lay me in the dust of death.
Dogs surround me,
a pack of villains encircles me;
they pierce my hands and my feet.
All my bones are on display;
people stare and gloat over me. Psalm 22:14-17
And just as He has resurrected, so will we experience our resurrected bodies when we worship in the Presence of the One who defined very good, but finishes in perfection.
I think we ware created very good, but that quality was lost shortly after by the first couple who ware created “very Good”. Our hope is that after we are separated from this non perfect body, our soul will keep waiting to receive in the no distant future, the “very good one”
Biblically the order goes; God created Adam, and he was very good. Then Adam fell and we were created in his image.