Saturday, April 14, 2012

When Daddy Says I'm Beautiful

Just the other day, I found myself once again in front of the mirror getting ready for an event later that afternoon. Whilst I was engaged in bemoaning acne, uneven skin tone, and other belligerent facial elements, my MP3 player was connected to its color-coordinated speakers and cycling through the "shuffle" setting.

Sound familiar?

As my appearance all but underwent  "urban renewal" (as comedian Bill Cosby once put it), my musical accompaniment played the likes of Tenth Avenue North, Darlene Zschech, Kari Jobe, Newsboys, and the O.C. Supertones...ignoring, of course, the Christmas ditties still lingering on my playlist long after the season to be jolly had passed.

I've never been especially ecstatic about my physical appearance. Even though I believe that external beauty is temporary and not nearly as important as a beautiful heart (Proverbs 31:30), I still have to grapple with how the culture defines "beauty" and tell my fickle heart to be still (Psalm 131), to stop seeking an identity in anything other than Jesus Christ (Col. 3:3). It's a daily arena for battle, and satan knows that. He'll come at me with everything he's got, and I'll start to weaken and let my armor down, leaving my heart vulnerable to his lies.

Sometimes, however, I won't even give the whole makeup/hair/clothing routine a thought. It's just something I do almost involuntarily, especially when my schedule is busy. That's the situation I found myself in the other day. Not really consciously engaged in what I was doing. The music kept on playing, a background noise that I wasn't actually listening to.

Until this song started playing.


*cue smile*

I have an incredible daddy, who not only takes the time to tell me I'm beautiful, but has spent his life teaching me how to have a truly beautiful heart in the presence of God. I still remember the very first time I heard this song (when Annie Moses Band performed it live at our church), and I'll never forget how the tears started streaming down my face. This was a song about me and my daddy, and about all the other daddies and daughters in this world.

But beyond celebrating the incredible, encouraging relationship between a father and daughter, this song reminds us of an even greater relationship: the one that exists between God the Father and His daughters who have had their sinful blemishes washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ. Because of the incredible mercy and grace of our Heavenly Father (Romans 5:21, Romans 8:15), He looks down on us and says, "I have called you by name; you are Mine. You are precious to Me. You are honored, and I love you" (Isaiah 43:1, 4). Our Heavenly Daddy says we're beautiful.

And that's the very first thought that entered my head, as I stood in front of the mirror poised with an eyeliner pencil in one hand. My Daddy says I'm beautiful. Here I am, not even concerned about today's cosmetic forecast, and He chose to speak to my heart because He knows its weakness. What a God I serve!

God was reminding me - and you - of the unbelievable, radical truth in Zephaniah 3:17:  

"For the Lord your God is living among you.
    He is a mighty Savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
    With His love, He will calm all your fears.
    He will rejoice over you with joyful songs."

 Take the time to hear Him singing over you today.

Do you struggle with the "beauty game"? How has God shown Himself faithful in this area of your life? Share your thoughts!

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