By Pastor Wes Poole
From the Creation accounts in GENESIS 1
26 Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”
27 So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
31 God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. – NRSV
I read a story this week about a pastor stepping into the pulpit for the first time. He was scared, as is typical, and he froze on the spot. His mouth dried out and his brain was filled with fog. He had studied, prepared accordingly, and spent much time in prayer. At that moment, however, all of the words of discouragement that he had unfortunately endured over the years came crashing down. He had been told by family and so-called friends that he was not up to or worthy of the task of ministry. He struggled for years with feelings of worthlessness before starting the journey to ordination and serving a congregation. Now at the culmination of all he had worked for, it seemed those cruel naysayers were right. Then, in a moment of truly Divine Clarity, he remembered the words of the sage in the Book of Proverbs where he reminds the reader that God’s Words are always true; that He is a shield to those who take refuge in him. A sense of peace came over him as he remembered that he was a loved and valued Child of God, and he was able to bring the Good News to everyone who had come to hear it from him.
We’ve all experienced that sort of paralysis that stems from a lack of confidence. Maybe those doubts were caused by the cruel words of others. Maybe it’s just our own insecurities getting the better of us. When I have those feelings, the words from the first chapter of Genesis always provide comfort and clarity. God looked at Creation, and called it good!! To be sure, we don’t always live into that goodness, but Scripture is full of instances where God reminds us that those first words we read of in Genesis are still true. God speaks the truth, and we are still part of that Good Creation. Countless times in the Bible we read of God reaching out to His children, providing strength and inspiration. May we also strive in our personal journeys of faith to be the ones who speak God’s Truth; choosing words of positivity and love over those of discouragement or cynicism. God’s love is for everyone, and His grace is always enough. That truth should always be on our lips and in our actions.
Let us pray…
God of Truth, Author of Goodness, help us to remember that we are all a part of that wonderful Creation you called good. When we fall short, you reach out to us with renewed strength and conviction. May we always reflect that encouragement and empowerment you provide to people everywhere; that your truth may continue to be proclaimed in this world. We ask these things in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Be well, be kind, and be safe!
Pastor Wes †