I once visited Butchart Gardens, a botanical wonderland in Victoria, Canada. As I was marveling at the stunning flower displays, I was surprised to learn about its history. It used to be a limestone quarry. But thanks to the vision of one woman, Jenny Butchart, what had been an ugly piece of land was transformed into fifty-five acres of beauty.
This made me think about the work of God in our lives, especially how He looks at us. Just like Jenny Butchart was able to look past the ugliness of the quarry to see the potential of a garden, so God focuses not on what we are, but concentrates on what we will be.
Paul declares we are a “new creation.” I don’t know about you, but I rarely feel like one. More often than not I see the old and the sinful in my life. And yet God boldly says that we are already made new.
He goes even further by proclaiming us to be “the righteousness of God.” Obviously, it is not because of anything we have done, but only thanks to the work of Christ on the cross. God’s righteousness is given to us when we trust in Jesus. And yet, even though it is still a far cry from our daily experience, God declares us to be righteous.
When God looks at us, he sees us for who we are in Christ. While he’s not blind to the sin and the ugliness, that’s not his focus. He concentrates on the potential of who we will be. He sees us through the prism of what Christ has done in our lives.
Therefore, let’s never give up living and working for our Lord. God already sees the finished product, even when we doubt we will ever make it to the end. He is rooting for us, and has given us everything necessary to succeed. This not only applies to our Christian walk, but also to our ministry. The Bible gives us the ability to see past what we are to focus on what we will be.
How would your life and ministry change if you saw yourself as God does?