Weekly Devotion #10

Marri Van Dyke   -  

You Matter.

With so many changes over the last year, I have been unsure of my place in life lately, wondering if I’m really seen. A friend recently offered these encouraging words, “Oh my gosh, Marri, YOU MATTER!” So that got me thinking: I know this expression is in motivational posts on social media and commercial slogans for everything from vitamins to the coolest SUV, but what does it really mean to me?

After a restful night’s sleep, I decided to begin my devotion with those words—YOU MATTER. As an unchurched new believer, I’m always thirsty for God’s word and love looking for the Bible’s message to phrases I’ve been thinking about my whole life. So today, I’m going to the mat! The Bible is my new favorite book of all time, and I refer to it as “the mat,” so let’s go to the mat!

And yes, I’ll say that again – I am an unchurched new believer. I wake up thirsty for the word of God and enjoy taking small breaks throughout the day to consume as much as I can. From daily devotionals that encourage me to dig deeper into God’s love, to weekly bible study prompts that seem to have been written just for me in this season, to holding the Bible before I go to bed at night, praying for the Holy Spirit to cover my dreams. The word of God has become a constant source of encouragement for me.

So, Dear Heavenly Father, I pray: Thank you for waking me up this morning and for allowing me to get out of bed and breathe fresh air into my lungs to begin my day. I know that I am here for a reason, though I get a little wonky and feel out of place and invisible sometimes. Please help me in remembering your love and guide me to the portion of your word that I need to absorb today. Please take me there. And, Dear Holy Spirit, thank you for showering me with your daily truth confirmations. I will follow your lead. In Jesus, I pray, Amen.

Here is the Lord’s reply – 

Matthew 9: 20-22 says, “He sees you, and You Matter.” I remember the first time I read this, I wept, and I’m crying again as I type. For I am the woman in the story, who had been bleeding for so many years. Bleeding from pain and sorrow over things that have happened in my life, I cannot get back or change. I’ve spent countless hours immersed in self-help books and talk therapies, all of which were helpful up to a point but never healed the underlying cause of my pain. I believed that if I just kept running forward and earning society’s acknowledgment of good work, a promising career, and the “picture house” on the outside, the “bleeding,” the pain on the inside would finally go away. It didn’t go away. I simply buried it deeper until it began to bubble up and fester in my life through self-defeating behaviors. Then I found Jesus. And I still catch myself saying out loud that I “found Jesus” two years ago. But, he was always with me. He carried me through the darkest times in my life and continues to be my rock to this very day. Learning to walk by faith and not by sight has been the biggest challenge for me since I thought I could control my happiness with achievements. It wasn’t until I got down on my knees and surrendered my life to God, praying for Jesus to fill my heart and to heal me, that I finally began to live – again.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have days when I’m feeling uncertain and discouraged, but as I continue to surround myself with people who will remind me of the Lord’s truth, all I have to do now is get quiet and talk to Jesus. He reminds me that I am loved just the way I am. No two people in this world have the same fingerprints or DNA – we are one-of-a-kind creations. Isn’t that incredible!?

And guess what? Jesus Loves you too!! You don’t have to have grown up in church to follow Christ and receive his promises. He has known you since you were a baby in your mother’s womb. He loves you for who you are, faults, and everything. He will be your Lord and Savior forever if you believe in Him.

— Jesus Heals in Response to Faith —

Matthew 9: 20-22:

Just then, a woman who had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding came up behind him. She touched the fringe of his robe, for she thought, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” Jesus turned around, and when he saw her, he said, “Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.” And the woman was healed at that moment.”