Materials needed: pen or pencil and paper; computer or tablet; a bible; image or icon of Jesus
Before beginning this exercise, take a few moments to be still and sense the presence of God with you. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you through this activity and reveal what he wants you to know.
God knows us best
Open your bible to Psalm 139 and read verses 1–18 out loud. Do you believe that God is your father, your “Abba” (“Daddy”)? Do you believe you are a special and unique creation, fashioned by his hand? Recall an adult in your life (mother, father, relative, or friend) to whom you are especially close:
- How do you feel when you are with this person? Do you trust this person and believe what they say? Why? What have they done to earn your trust?
- How would that person describe you? If you don’t know, consider asking them.
- Think of that person when you think of God as “Daddy.” Have you ever thought of God in such a personal and intimate way? Why or why not?
- Do you find it easier to think of God the Father as “Daddy” or Jesus as your closest friend? Why or why not?
Now listen to Mindy Jostyn sing a portion of “In His Eyes” (link below the picture):
You can read along, beginning with “In His eyes you’re a radiant vision of beauty …” (pages 156-157, River of Grace)
Listen to the song a second time, either gazing on your image or icon of Jesus or closing your eyes and imagining Jesus looking at you straight in the eye and singing this to you. Do you feel the sentiments in this song are true for you? Why or why not?
Loved by God
Take a piece of paper and fold it in half. On the left hand side, list all the things about yourself that you like. Then slowly and deliberately, thank God for each item on your list.
On the right hand side, list those things about yourself that you either don’t like or feel are a burden to you. Write down any feelings these things bring up.
Compare your lists: Which one is longer? Why do you think that list is longer? What does it say about you?
Remembering that God makes no mistakes and that all things have an ultimate purpose for good, tell God honestly how you feel, and offer these things to him that you don’t like about yourself, asking him to use them for his glory and your benefit. Do not be alarmed or put off if you have negative feelings because God knows us through and through; share with him as honestly as you can. Be prepared that this could be a hard prayer to offer; you may need to repeat this prayer over time.
copyright 2015 Susan W. Bailey;
from Chapter 6 of River of Grace: Creative Passages Through Difficult Times,
published by Ave Maria Press