“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Romans 12:2 (NASB)
Why can I not simply live according to God’s purpose for my life?
Unrelenting heat and humidity evaporated moisture from my potted plants faster than I could refresh the parched soil. Each drooping blossom and shriveling leaf mocked me.
I resisted verbalizing my thought, “Take a ticket, little lovelies. I have problems of my own.”
Not that I talk to my plants. Who does that?
I nudged a nearby watering can with my toe until its contents swished, then clutched its handle and trudged toward the needy plants.
The first diamond-like droplets streamed from the spout when I spied a non-conformist in my pot of butter-colored petals. A single, green stalk topped with an orange pom-pom shaped marigold towered in comparison to its peers.
Eyeing the full pot of its kind residing nearby sparked my compulsion to right what seemed wrong. Hmm. The only thing that halted me from plucking and replanting it was the smile inverting my frown.
“Well, now. Look at you being the you God designed.”
That marigold caught my attention because it was different from its surroundings, yet simply living according to God’s design. God used His creation to springboard my thinking as He lifted my chin in a teachable moment.
Sometimes I question God about where He places me, but I can’t allow my lack of understanding to keep me from flourishing.
I struggle against standing out in a crowd, feeling all eyes on me, or the sense that I am on the spot. In order to avoid attention, I tend to droop and shrivel by looking down and curling my shoulders inward.
Layers of insecurity become weights of anxiety when I realize I stand out because of Christ.
There was a long season in my marriage when my husband wondered why I could not just be like other women. For a while, others asked why certain sermons bothered me when the message felt good to them. I spend every day feeling separation from a loved one because I will not accept a new – and false – interpretation of Scripture.
Doesn’t God know about my lack of confidence?
Of course, God knows; He knows all.
So, why does He allow me to be in places where I stand out?
“Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2 – NASB)
God’s will is that I place my confidence in Him no matter where He plants me.
Choosing to stand out by placing my confidence in Christ as opposed to myself or others:
- saved my marriage and liberated the real me that God intended.
- opened my knowledge of true versus false teaching, and The Truth set me free!
- fostered deep faith-roots from which I draw hope for my loved one’s release from deception.
Living for Christ often causes others to notice us. As uncomfortable as receiving attention may feel, ultimately it is the key that opens the door to point to Christ. Because it is not us others are drawn to; it is Christ in you, Christ in me.
God isn’t teaching us to focus on ourselves; He commands us to allow Christ to be Christ through us.
If God can use a marigold to help me embrace my place, I am sure His Spirit is all we need to stand out – with confidence – in Him.
Tell me, am I the only one who struggles with standing out “with confidence” in Christ?
What Scripture helps you flourish where God plants you?
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