I would have chosen something else. As a child, I would look at my hands and wish for hands that looked nothing like mine. I longed for what I perceived to be delicate and dainty. I didn’t think my hands fit that bill. Then there was the way that my two hands didn’t seem to match each other. One hand had more oval nails. The other’s nails were definitely more circular. The circular nails bent back really easy, the oval ones, not so much. One hand had more slender fingers. On the other hand, the fingers were wider. I’d hold them side by side and wonder why I they didn’t seem to belong together. The mismatch seemed obvious.
Until one day I looked a little closer. Somewhere in my head, a lightbulb went off. If I looked closely at the shape of fingers and nails, I should have noticed what was intensely familiar to me. My hands are a direct connection to my parents, each hand reflecting the shape and form I inherited from each of them. I should not have been surprised, but I was. My heavenly Father gave me a constant reminder of love in my hands.
He chose our inheritance for us, the pride of Jacob, whom he loved. Psalm 47:4 (NIV)
I would be a bad inheritance chooser. I would go after the things that would make me happy. The things that would meet very temporal needs. I would be satisfied for a short amount of time and then dissatisfied for even longer. I would look at the inheritance that others would have chosen or received, and I would jealously crave it for myself. I would play every comparison game I possibly could. I should never choose my own inheritance.
God’s plan of an inheritance for me defies my understanding. He chose me. He chose me to receive an inheritance from Him. There has been nothing I could ever do, no act of service, mercy or grace on my part that would ever be enough to earn the inheritance He lavishes on me. He’s chosen me and all I can say is thank you!
Not only does God choose me to receive from Him but He changes my character. Even my “good” deeds aren’t really that good at all. The sin bit – that’s truly ugly. But my gracious Father does not ever expect me to earn off all of the sin with attempts at good. He knows that I would fail horribly and never arrive at a tally where I would have done enough to pay the debt. Instead, because of the shed blood of Jesus, He looks at me and sees that the debt has been fully paid. He sees me restored to full relationship.
On top of that, I am His daughter, His beloved child. I tell all of my learners every year that while I do not have any children of my own, I will always think of them as being a little bit mine because they have been in my class for the school year. I want them to know they are loved. I want them to feel special and honoured. I want them to know that I see their worth, their potential. However, the school year ends and they belong to another teacher the next year. God doesn’t pass me off to someone else next year. Instead, He chooses to adopt me. He chooses me. He moves towards me. He lavishes mercy, love, grace, forgiveness, encouragement, hope, affection and joy on me because I am His chosen daughter. It’s not earned. It’s certainly not deserved. I didn’t do anything to pick this Father. It’s all Him. It’s all an inheritance that defies my understanding.
The little girl in Max Lucado’s Just the Way You Are is desperate to have something that makes her worthy of the king. She wants to be good at some talent or skill, surely that will make her adoptable. She operates under the notion that being her regular self will never be enough. That isn’t what the king wants for her. He chooses her. He sees her as worthy. He wants to adopt her. He’s not looking for some special skill set to make it happen.
I’m so grateful my Father holds out His hands of mercy and grace extending His inheritance to me. I will never deserve or earn it, but I choose the inheritance my King has for me. It’s better than I will ever fully understand.
Written with help from: Psalm 47 Commentary