Isaiah 46:4 (NKJV)
4 Even to your old age, I am He, And even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear;Even I will carry, and will deliver you.
Isaiah 46: (NLT)
4 I will be your God throughout your lifetime — until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.
Isaiah 46:4 (MSG)
4 And I’ll keep on carrying you when you’re old. I’ll be there, bearing you when you’re old and gray. I’ve done it and will keep on doing it, carrying you on my back, saving you.
Evaluate, value, and valuable. Those three words are weighed, both by the intrinsic value of a person or thing, as well as the perception of its value. Seven years ago, my wife would not look twice at a 1987 action figure in a thrift shop, it held no value to her. Today, she would probably leave the store with it, even if it cost ten dollars. Why? Because if it involves a certain crime fighter, she knows it is valued by her husband.
An item such as that isn’t inherently valuable, in and of itself, only in it’s perception. Truth be told, the same could be said of gold or silver. Like granite, they can be taken from rocks and caves. Society has evaluated some natural compounds to be more valuable than others. All these things have appraised value.
The question is then, what impresses a society to assess value on things that may not have natural value. The answer is that they value the opinion of the assessor. Whoever it was that once said, gold is more important than another item, they trusted their opinion. The assessor left a lasting impression in the minds of society, and humanity.
There are other things that you don’t have to convince someone to value. Water is valuable to all creatures, not because it is evaluated, but because it is vital to life. You must have water, even more than food. Water is intrinsically, naturally, valuable, because it sustains humanity.
In life, some value others because they have been taught to do so. A child may not enjoy school, so they do not value it, but their parent does. Over time, the child learns that, even if they don’t care for it, it is important to their future. In time, they will realize that learning has intrinsic value. Until they do, they will value it, albeit very lightly, because they love their Mom and Dad.
You do not have to teach a baby that their Mother or Father is valuable. You just have to hold them. You love them. You care for them. They know that they are safe in your arms. When life unkindly teaches them that everyone doesn’t value them as much as their parents do, they run to the arms of those who have always valued them.
As we grow up, in life, it may seem that we meet more people who do not value us than those that do. We will experience relationships, business situations, and conflicts that will attempt to convince us that we don’t matter. Many will try and tell you that your greatest value is in what you do.
From co-workers, to the enemy of your soul, people will whisper that you have no intrinsic or natural value. Fame is an illustration of this. It will build you up for years, based soley on perception, until your evaluate your life, not by who you are, but whether you are in the public eye. Sadly, we value artists, not by their talent, but their popularity. Once you lose that, you will be tempted to think that your value is gone.
At those times, why not run to The God that has always valued us? From each corner, like an ocean flowing to your despair, Christ’s voice rings, “You are valuable to me!” There is One that stands from the beginning, who has never stopped shouting, that you are worth life itself.
He, The Great Assessor, felt you were valuable enough to take you from a thought in His heart to a child in His hands. God cared enough for you and I to create dust, just so He could shape us into existence. Other things He spoke into this world, including the dust that was our building material. We refer to ourselves as dust, as if we were worthless, but He created it, so He could create you. That makes the dust more valuable to God than the stars.
The ugly question hangs in your mind, you’re afraid to ask it, terrified to voice it. “What about all of my sins? What of all the pain I’ve caused? Can He still value me now?” The answer is a “Yes” so loudly that it echoes through time and space. In the same chapter as the scripture above, He makes the following statement.
10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times [the things] that are not [yet] done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
He declared the end from the beginning, to do that, He had to have seen the middle. Since He saw Revelation before He acted in Genesis, this means that He also saw Golgotha. One great Man Of God said that before He created what He said “Was good”, He heard Himself whisper “It is finished.”
Can He assess you valuable after all your mistakes? “Yes!” He didn’t approve of Adam’s sin, but gave him free will. Knowing that giving Adam free will could lead to a free fall into corruption. God never intended for man to make the choice He did, and warned strongly against it. Yet He loved us enough to create us. Placing Adam in Eden, resulted in Christ placing Himself on the cross to save us all.
My point is this. He loves us enough to create us, and to save us, and to sustain us. When you are told that you are not valuable, or that your only worth is in the service you provide to others, reject the lie. You are loved enough, and more than enough.
The evaluation of your life isn’t determined by the standards of this world, but by a loving God. One that said, “I will carry you even to old age.” He bears the scars on His back to prove it. He carried our sins from the whipping post to a tortuous death, all the time carrying us in His heart.
As we are valued, we are to value. Every morning He sets in motion a plan to prosper us. Let’s seek to do the same. When you get up each day, between leaving the house and arriving for work, make a plan. Who do you know that could use a kind word today? Who needs to know that they are valued, not for what they do for you, but who they are?
To do this, we don’t have to pry into their personal business. We can start by simply sharing a smile, and lending a ear. Ask how they’re doing. Show them that you are interested in whatever is on their mind. As they see that your only motive is friendship, they will realize that someone cares. That realization, in and of itself, can lead to a salvaged life, and soul.
2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
God doesn’t call us to evaluate people, but to value them. We are called to share the message that they are precious to God, and to us. This simple truth will make the difference in so many lives. In the process, it will open our eyes more to the needs of others. A side effect of valuing those around us, is that it will increase our value in The Kingdom of Him, who considers us the most valuable thing of all.