In Christ we were chosen to be God’s people, because from the very beginning God had decided this in keeping with his plan. And he is the One who makes everything agree with what he decides and wants. Ephesians 1:11 (NCV)

I don’t know if this is a true story or not, but a great sculptor was allegedly asked how he went about taking a block of granite and transforming it into a statue. His response went like this: “Well, imagine I wanted to make a statue of a horse. I simply look at the block of granite and chip away everything that doesn’t look like a horse!”

For people like me that are artistically challenged in the area of sculpture, that explanation is completely worthless. My ability to make anything from clay or granite would have to have a plaque underneath it with the inscription “I don’t know either. It didn’t turn out the way I’d like.”

That’s not true with your Heavenly Father. Unlike you or me, he had a plan at the beginning of time. His plan was for you to have a relationship with him. It’s as though, in all his power and majesty, he looked a piece of clay and said, “I’m going to create my perfect lover, my perfect object of my affection. I’m going to make something for me that is exactly as I want it. Something I can love more than any of my other creations”

Once he finished molding and forming, your image appeared! You may think that sounds ridiculous. “Just look at me,” you say, “look at my scars. Look at the mistakes I’ve made. Look at the mess I’ve made of my life. Look at all the people I’ve hurt. How can you say that God created me to be some perfect love of his?”

Your question is understandable. We all have ugly scars from our past; we have all endured the consequences of stupid decisions that hurt ourselves and others. But the explanation is really rather simple, from God’s perspective anyway. When he looks at you, he looks beyond the scars and mistakes, he looks beyond the rebellion and anger, he looks beyond the frustration and worry.

God planned you from the beginning. He knew every obstacle you would have to endure. He knew your failures. He knew all about your rebellion. He knew all about the abuse and pain you’d have to suffer. That’s why he sent Jesus.

When I set my camera to manual focus I can make objects seem blurry or clear, perfect or imperfect; acceptable or unacceptable. Jesus is like God’s auto-focus. When you come to Christ and ask forgiveness for all the flaws in your life (the sin, the anger, the hate, the hurts) he looks at me through Jesus and sees the perfection of his plan.

You are planned by your Heavenly Father and his plans always work out just the way he wants them to. That’s what grace is all about. Grace is all about a relationship with the Father, through Jesus Christ, who sets us free from the penalty of sin.

PRAYER: Lord God, I thank you for your ability to carry out your plan for me exactly aw you intended. Thank you for Jesus and for the fact that because of him, I’m exactly what you want. Amen.