June 1, 2006
Encouragement for Today
“Do You See Me?”
Marybeth Whalen, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member
I John 1:3b-4, “And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.” (NIV)
My seven-month-old daughter loves to be noticed. When her daddy walks in the room, she will lock her eyes on him intently until he notices her and pays her sufficient attention. When we are in a restaurant, she looks around at the people at nearby tables until she finds someone who will talk to her and return her blue-eyed gaze. Though she cannot speak, her eyes tell the tale. She is saying, “Notice me! Do you see me?” Even at such a young age, she feels a need to somehow be validated by other human beings. Her need to know that she matters in this world must be hardwired into her human psyche.
I think that this feeling begins in infancy and stays with us all of our lives. Whether we admit it or not, we all struggle with wondering if we matter in this world— whether anyone notices that we exist. Unfortunately, we can confuse our need for affirmation with our soul’s cry for intimacy with God. For many of us, that means moving on from one person to the next, hoping to find the one who will finally validate us and let us know that we matter. We foolishly think that if others notice us, compliment us and affirm us, we will fill up our emptiness. And yet, the emptiness invariably creeps back in. This cycle continues throughout our lives.
However, there is a way to break that cycle. When we draw close to God and discover the soul-affirming joy of fellowship with Him, then we find what we have truly been longing for. We learn that God can fill our empty spaces deep inside. We stop looking to sin-filled people in a fallen, broken world to validate us. While affirmation and validation will always be nice to have, we find we do not need it like we once did.
The amazing thing in all of this is that recognition from others seems to be a byproduct of fellowship with God. People notice you because there is something different about you. They want to know how you have such peace and joy in your life. While they may not be able to explain it, they sense that they can trust you, and they admire your character. Your confidence — not in yourself, but in Him — shines through and draws others to you. In short, people want what you have when you have a relationship — fellowship — with God.
When Adam and Eve walked in the Garden of Eden, they enjoyed sweet companionship with their Creator. Though banished from that paradise, the human soul has never forgotten the feeling of that oneness with God. We will continue to search for it in vain as long as we search for it apart from Him.
If you are searching for validation in all the wrong places today, may I urge you to seek God? Ask Him to fill you up so you can stop scanning every room you enter for someone to satisfy your needs for attention and affirmation. That will be found when you turn your face towards Heaven.
“We are secure not because we are sure of ourselves, but because we trust that God is sure of us.” Eugene Peterson
My Prayer for Today:
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for loving me. Thank You for desiring to have a relationship with me. Help me to look to you when I need affirmation. Help me not to look in the wrong places to find the peace I am seeking. Help me to discover it in Your loving arms. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
If you are in a place of seeking validation and affirmation from others, take steps today to stop doing that. What can you do to draw close to God? As you ask this question, begin to do the things that God brings to mind. Remember that people will always let you down, but God never will. You may think He is far away, but He is right there waiting for you.
Are there people in your life right now that you are asking to validate and affirm you?
Do you realize that they may never be able to give you what you need?
Is it fair of you to ask that of them?
I Corinthians 1:9, “God, who has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.” (NIV)
I John 1:6-7, “If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us all.” (NIV)
Genesis 3:8, “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.” (NIV)
Genesis 6:9, “This is the account of Noah: Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.” (NIV)
Who Holds the Key to Your Heart, by Lysa TerKeurst
The Ultimate Makeover, by Sharon Jaynes
Hearing God, ETC Corner Oct. 2004
Originally published Thursday, 01 June 2006.