Beauty, as Well as Value, is in the Eye of the Beholder
Read: Romans 5:6-11; Luke 23:34
When we moved into our home, there was a yucca plant right by the outdoor faucet. The sweet people from whom we bought the house had brought it here, especially for its place in the front yard. They loved yucca and I think they thought that the succulent was beautiful. One of my husband's first acts as a new homeowner was to get rid of that plant. He didn't want me to scratch my face when I bent down to turn on the water. In addition, we're not fond of yucca. They're simply not beautiful to us. Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.
Lately, I have been pondering the fact that value too is in the eye of the beholder. A few weeks ago, I was checking out at Walmart when the cashier asked me a thought-provoking question. (Well, it is probably more accurate to say that it became worth pondering after I stopped laughing to myself.) She questioned me as to whether I would like to purchase a protection plan for the phone I was purchasing. At this point, it is important to say that we buy inexpensive phones. Suffice it to say that this is prudent because of "phone mishaps". Yes, I have been known to wash the phone along with the freshly picked green beans. There was also the time when I dropped yet another phone in the cleaning water. FYI, unlike the axe head in the Bible, phones don't float. All that to say that the phone the clerk referred to cost $7.00; therefore, I declined the protection plan. Anything that we deem to have little value can be easily replaced with little or no thought.
In 2 Kings 6:1-7, we are reminded of the miracle that God performed on behalf of an unnamed prophet that involved the aforementioned ax head. As Elisha's prophets were going about the business of constructing a larger place for themselves, one of the workers lost his axe head in the water. He had borrowed it, and replacing it would have cost money that he undoubtedly did not have. A thing of value was lost to him.
Wouldn't it have been amazing to have been there to watch as through Elisha, God restored the ax head to that prophet? God cares about what concerns His children, and He wants us to talk with Him about what is valuable and precious to us. Yet, the Bible tells us something even more wondrous than that. It is throughout the pages of His Word that we learn, as we see God's plan of redemption unfolding, that what God values Supremely is people. All people. Those who presently belong to Him and honor Him and those who never think of Him and even those who work vehemently against Him.
Why does He value human beings so much? For one thing, we are the only part of God's creation that is made in His image, Genesis 1:26-27. As beautiful as the heavens above are, adorned with the sun moon and stars that shine and sparkle displaying His glory, Psalm 19:1-6, the crown jewel of God's creation is people. We are the ones He loves and came to save, John 3:16. Imagine it. We are precious to God not because of what we can do for Him. No, instead we are valued in God's eyes because He has chosen to set His love on us, 1 John 4:9-10. In Romans 5:6-11, we are told that God has purposed to reach out in love towards those who were and are unable to reach out to Him. Some people wonder why God doesn't immediately strike down those who mock Him? They can't fathom, if He is all knowing and all powerful why He doesn't display those attributes by ridding Himself of His enemies. At least a bit of the answer is given to us, spoken by Jesus while He hung on the cross.
Think of that day when Jesus' enemies mocked Him with both words and cruel actions. His response? He called out not for vengeance but forgiveness for them, declaring that they didn't know what they were doing, Luke 23:34. Oh yes, they knew that they had driven the nails into Him, and they surely knew that they were taunting Him with their words. Yet, like us before we received Jesus, John 1:11-12, they didn't know Who Jesus truly was and how much He loved them. They didn't know their value in His eyes. Yes, they were His enemies, but Romans says that each of us had that same standing at one time. Before we were saved, we most likely didn't know it, but we too were as helpless and hopeless as they were. It was only when He revealed His love to us that we became God's friends.
In 2 Peter 3:9, God reiterates this awesome truth. This love God has extends toward every person, and it is His desire that each person would be saved. We know that this will not be the case. Many will say no to the Savior. Yet, look at His heart towards each person. In Matthew 9:35-38, we see it again. Jesus beheld the crowd and viewed them as they were. Harassed and helpless sheep who didn't have a shepherd. They were truly seen by Him, and regardless of their actions, each was valuable to Him.
When I was a child, my father used to tell me that no one was expendable. He would mention President Kennedy and how quickly and seamlessly he had been replaced by Lindon Johnson. In the earthly sense, this is true. Another person can do the job of someone who quits or passes away. Yet, God doesn't view people like that. As was mentioned previously, it is His desire that all be saved. He has no joy in the death of the wicked, Ezekiel 33:11. He has done everything to give the opportunity for even His most ardent enemy to become His friend.
Sometimes, even those of us who already belong to Jesus feel about as valuable as that $7.00 phone. Isn't it amazing that though people might regard us as anything but precious, the Creator has the opposite point of view. When we are tempted to believe what we feel or how others assess us, rather than what God says, let's remember that He has the final word, and what He says is true, Titus 1:2. We are valuable to our Creator/Redeemer.