There was one sleek, black '66 Mustang at an antique auto show. It had a flawless exterior and a rich interior. The hood was open so you could look at the horsepower underneath, and sitting on the engine block was a thick book of photos. At the beginning of the photo album, there were "before" pictures of the car. The car started as garbage; the first pictures showed a rusted, wrecked, banged-up Mustang. Throughout the book, you could see how the car was slowly transformed step-by-step. It took months, maybe even years of the owner patiently working to end up with this beautiful classic. When the owner saw that wreck, he saw something others didn't see.
In Judges 6 from the Word of God, God is looking for a general for His troops who will be a mighty commander and beat the Midianites, who have intimidated and terrorized the Israelites for years. He speaks to Gideon in Judges 6:11 and it says, "The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, 'The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.'" Verse 14 says, "The Lord turned to him and said, 'Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?' 'But Lord,' Gideon asked, 'how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.' The Lord answered, 'I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together.'"
Gideon was hiding in a pit and didn't look like a mighty warrior at all. God comes along and says, "Mighty warrior." God didn't see what Gideon was, He saw what he could be and what He intended to make him. God did the same with Peter. Peter was a flake when he came to Jesus; he was always up and down and very inconsistent. Jesus said, "You will be a rock when I am finished with you."
God looks at you the same way. He looks at you the way that Mustang owner saw a banged-up car. He sees value, much more than you do. He knows the person He created you to be, and His photo album shows the step-by-step rebuilding.
If you believe how God sees you, then there should be some important changes in how life looks to you.
- First, when you are down about who you are, look back at the old pictures. Look at who you used to be, because you are becoming something.
- Second, when you are down on yourself, realize you are not finished yet. The rebuilding is in process.
- Third, when you are dealing with other people, encourage the person God is building in them. Tell people what they could be and the good you see in them.
- Fourth, if you are a parent, don't get hung up on what your child is now. Look at what he could be, and tell him that.
You, your friends, your mate, and your children are all in the rebuilding program of Jesus Christ. Life looks different when we see ourselves and others through Jesus' eyes. We see what we can be. Patiently, step-by-step, the Master is building you into a classic.