I love collecting seashells. It’s intriguing how they come in different colours, textures, and shapes. While looking for seashells off a beach in Bintan, I found a sand dollar. It was very pretty, with a star design on each side. Then I realised there were many more scattered along the beach! So I dug through the sand to pick them up and washed them in the waves. If the delicate sand dollars were chipped, I would leave them on the shore. If they were beautiful and whole, I would keep them.
While coming across another broken sand dollar and about to discard it, I felt God impress on my heart, “Jiamin, why are you only looking for complete sand dollars to add to your collection? Don’t you realise that whether these sand dollars are broken or not, I’m the Maker of them all? And you are like this broken sand dollar, with your imperfections and flaws, yet I love you and choose to call you My own.”
There on the beach, I was overwhelmed by the depth of God’s love. And yes, God is the creative Maker of us all! He made the magnificent galaxies, those intricate sand dollars, and, what’s more, He created people in His own image to bear His likeness, yet at the same time made everyone differently with unique fingerprints, personalities, and passions in life.
Even before we were born, God had begun knitting us in our mothers’ wombs. In Psalm 139:14, the psalmist proclaims to God, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” The word “wonderful” here means to be different, striking, and extraordinary. Although the psalmist faced tough trials, he drew comfort from the fact that God knew him completely, and his very being was but a reflection of a wonder-working God.
Sometimes we tend to admire people with great looks, gifts or talents, but how do we see ourselves? And how do we view those who are blind or mute, who have a bent spine or walk with a limp, or babies that are born prematurely or suffer diseases? Does this mean God loves them less? No, it’s the same wonderful God who created them all: different, striking, and extraordinary.
Thirty-four years ago, Nick Vujicic was born without arms and legs. His mother was so shaken that she didn’t hold him until he was four months old. Nick grew up strong and healthy, but as he got teased and bullied at school, he began to blame God for his deformity and misery. He became depressed and at the age of ten, tried to drown himself in his bathtub. But Nick had a breakthrough when reading the Gospel of John, realizing that if God had a purpose for a man born blind, then God would have a purpose for him too. Since then, Nick began living his life to the full, and now he’s an inspiring international speaker, sharing about the Creator’s wonderful work in him and through him.
All of us have our own share of imperfections and flaws, yet God loves us just as we are and calls us His own. When we are tempted to compare ourselves with others or think that we aren’t as talented, pretty or popular, remember this: we may be different, but no less valued. In God’s eyes, every person is a masterpiece, a wonder to behold.