“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14
The last time I quoted this verse was when I was teaching a Sunday school class for youth with special needs. We were studying the book of Genesis, discussing God’s creation that Sunday. The Bible repeats several times that “God saw that it was good.” God considered all His creation to be good. My message to my students was that it does not matter if they have autism, learning disabilities, Down Syndrome or mental illnesses. Regardless of their disabilities, they were still fearfully and wonderfully made. They are all good in the sense that they are unique, precious and unconditionally loved in the eyes of God. We need to treasure and enjoy who we are and our lives.
For me personally, I enjoy the artistic abilities God created in me. I have always loved to act in dramas, sing and dance since I was young. I love to perform and be on stage, and I am usually happy with my performances. I also love to read and write. I remember one of my childhood dreams was to write my own novel. In contrast, my athletic skills are pitiful and I lack the coordination required by most sports. I am particularly bad at sports that require balance or responding to another player, such as skiing, biking and any ball games. That is why I always call myself a “ball dummy.”
A few years ago, I started playing badminton. I picked up the sport just to have some family fun, but gradually I grew to truly love badminton. However, liking it does not mean I play it well. I realized that as part of the process of learning to enjoy myself as God’s creation, I needed to enjoy myself as a badminton dummy too, as well as accept my other weaknesses. My badminton skills are weak, but I enjoy putting hard work and persistence into practicing. What others can manage in three weeks, I have spent three years to learn. Winning a game is not easy, but I cherish every moment when I score a point. I appreciate myself for the strength that I have gained through persevering despite all the losses, failures and, at times, even others’ rejection. I am sure this is not something I could have gained by doing activities in an area in which I excel.
- Do you truly believe you are deeply loved and fearfully and wonderfully made by God?
- What are the talents and strengths God has created in you?
- How are you going to serve Him with these talents and gifts?
- What kind of “disabilities” do you think you have?
- Are you able to enjoy life and appreciate who God created you to be after reading Psalm 139:14?
Written by Lily Ma. Artwork by Carol Li