Friday, November 14, 2014

When I Was Invisible

Hello, someone is visible here!
“Oops, I’m sorry I didn’t see you.”  A boy said as he popped up from Amelia’s lap. 

“Somebody sat on me again. There I was just working on my speech, for that really dumb class …”

She didn’t have much of a following at school and rarely participated in activities with classmates. Her expectation in life was to be invisible, and so far she was good at it.
Despite her goal, Amelia’s grandmother proclaimed how she could help her become all that she was meant to be.  She was destined to become great, because of her heritage.   
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USA Las Vegas, NV; Atlanta, GA; Sharon, PA; Yuma, AZ; Raleigh, NC; Camden, Blackwood, Voorhees, NJ; Chicago, IL; Salem, OR; Fresno, CA; Elkridge, MD.
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God turns the insignificant into significant.

Everyone in life has a desire to be noticed in some way.  It doesn’t mean we all want to be famous or live a life in the public eye, but we all want to feel wanted, loved and appreciated.  We were created by God to have interaction with others. When that doesn’t happen our inner spirit closes down and hides making us feel invisible to the world.  Instead we shy away from doing what makes us happy or fear stepping out into the unknown where we could shine.
In this computer age there is a real sense of not knowing who people are or not wanting to get to know others with social media.  I’m to blame for this myself even in this blog.  Sometimes it’s a matter of safety (like here), while others may want to hide or not want to bother with people intimately.  It seems so superficial; no wonder we don’t feel special anymore.
After awhile we begin to think that if people don’t care, does God?  Is He aware of all the difficulties I’m experiencing?  If my family or friends don’t want to get involved, why should He care about me either?
When we feel invisible God sees what others
cannot and understands those feelings. 

Maybe you think life isn’t working out like you expected.  Then you look around and start to judge others and think they’re the problem … but deep down you know they’re not.
Don’t look at others as if they’re different than you are, because they aren’t. God sees them too; in the middle of all the chaos He’s there waiting to deliver us through any situation or circumstance.
Make Me Matter Lord
We want God to shed some light on our lives. Somewhere in life we start to ask the big questions like,
“Why am I here? What is my purpose?” 
Then there is this one that I’ve asked so many times, “When will I stop feeling this way … invisible, like I don’t matter?” 
I’ll tell you when: 
God will see you when you see others.
What are you looking at when you view an individual?  Are you seeing the tattoos, piercings, missing limbs, broken parts of a person on the outside or are you seeing what God sees?
I once wrote on how my *perception of people was all wrong, and not until I saw others through the eyes of Jesus did my heart change about feeling invisible or insignificant.  Our lives cannot change if we stay on the same invisible path.  We have to get on the road that God travels if our journey is to be completed with joy. (*Read it here.)

Beyond Feelings
We have to be willing to show up in other people’s lives without having them compelled to enter ours. What I mean by this is that we can’t be afraid to give a word of comfort when we see an awkward situation.  It doesn’t mean you have to invite someone to church, hand them a tract or even quote scripture.  Jesus didn’t drag someone to church every time He healed or spoke to them.  He got involved by letting them know about the love of God and that He cared for them.
I see your pain and suffering.
I can help you.
I think about the man at Bethesda in John chapter 5, waiting for someone to put him into the healing pool. 
Everyone there saw him.  Some probably stepped on or maybe even sat on him as they pressed past to get into the pool before he did. 
No one even attempted to assist this man; that is until Jesus came into His life.  The Lord noticed him and didn’t hesitate getting involved.
When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”
The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”
Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.
What changed this man’s life of being invisible among the multitude? Belief.  There were lots of people there who were sick and may have been worse off than him, but Jesus didn’t talk to them.  Why not?  I’m sure they all saw Jesus there.
I think it’s because of what the Lord saw in this individual that he didn’t see in anyone else there. This man believed Jesus over his own feelings or condition, and the power of the Holy Spirit healed him. 

When he believed, he saw himself differently, so much so that he took action and followed the instruction of the Lord.  He didn’t stop to think “Can I do this?  What will the other sick people here think?  Will it work … I don’t want to look like a fool?”
Every one of those people waiting to get in that pool could have been healed that day if they set their eyes on Jesus and not their condition. They trusted in the water and not the One who made the water to move.  Their only hope was in being the first in the pool.  When it didn’t happen they went back to living their lives the same way as usual – hopeless and invisible to the world as useful citizens.  Nothing for them changed.
Self Keeps Us Invisible
Many times we get so distracted by what is happening in our own lives, that it prevents us from noticing that someone else is hurting. 
Earlier in the week I was really exhausted and couldn’t take my husband to his cardiac therapy on Monday. I felt so bad that it affected my entire day, because his visit turned out to be too much on his own.
God saw what we were going through and covered both of us with His grace, mercy and love.  I saw His favor working some situations out when I wasn’t able to focus properly. 
It was if God was telling me not to rely on self, but Him.  He knows my husband better than I do and sees what is needed.  I am not his everything, Jesus is.  His grace and favor on a situation is far better than I could ever provide.
Audience of One
When will we realize that God sees everything and that we are to live for an audience of one, the One which is Christ?

Instead of being a people pleaser, we need to focus on becoming a God pleaser.
“We are to be more aware of our Creator than the critics of our life.”  Tammy Maltby

Sure we’d like to feel important or significant, but when it comes down to our journey it doesn’t matter if the world notices us. God does. He sees and loves us. He always will.  His love isn’t based on our performance, looks or past.  He loves what He created … you and me. 

When He made you/me this is what He had in mind.  God didn’t create us to be invisible or to feel that way.  He didn’t say you or I were a mistake, but Divinely made us unique and individual. 
The Lord even put His stamp of approval on His creation when He saw us: “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was good.”  We have never been invisible to God so we have to stop thinking that way.
He knows that we’ll make mistakes, have flaws and aren’t perfect in the world’s eyes.  We are to be mindful that He doesn’t look to the world for advice, opinions or critique. 
Valley of Hope
No one sees what's happening.
I grew up feeling invisible and worthless, because of things that happened to me in my younger years.  No matter what I did no one listened or believed me, so I chose to step out of those circles. 
When I changed, my life changed and I realized it was God who led me in another direction for helping others emotionally. That’s another reason why I am so open and transparent with my writing, hoping that it will help someone understand that they are not alone or invisible.
Many, many years ago when I was first faced with some really challenging people, I asked the Lord to show me what He loved about them.  When I did, I began to understand the compassion of Jesus.  It helped me to reach out to those who felt invisible or worthless.
How could I have ever ministered to them if I was never in that valley in my own life?  He allowed me to pass through a valley so that I could help others who found themselves there with no hope.  It’s in those dark places that we find the Light of Jesus.  Without darkness we couldn’t know there was Light available and would have nothing to compare it with.
He Sees Us
The Bible says God looks to and fro searching the heart of someone who will be faithful to Him.
He sees the soul that cries behind closed doors, the individual that gets bullied, those overlooked by others and the heart that longs to be used to do something worth living for that makes a difference.  In other words, He sees the invisible you and me. 
“It’s you, (God says) that I want to show favor to, because I see your heart of belief.  It’s you, I want to do something special for in life.  It’s your heart that was more visible than anyone else’s that I need for this project.”
Your Heritage Makes You Visible
Along the way the granddaughter made lots of mistakes, but that didn’t stop her grandmother from loving her.
By now you recognize this fictional story in The Princess Diaries. 
The good thing is that as God’s children we really do have a royal heritage, and in our Heavenly Father’s eyes we are never invisible.  His plans for us are good and He directs our journey so that we will be successful.  That doesn’t mean we won’t mess up along the way.
At the end of the story Michael asks the newly crowned princess, “Why me?”  (Why me when there were so many others more worthy he was thinking.) The Princess replied, “Because you saw me when I was invisible.”
The story is actually a modern day parable, where the girl chose him because he saw her when no one else noticed.
What God showed me through this little ditty of a scene, is that the boy also felt invisible and was in awe of the fact she chose Him.  The girl never realized that he was feeling the same thing as she was, because he handled it differently.  This happens in life when we don't notice others around us or think they could be experiencing the same feelings as we are. 
Once Amelia realized her heritage, her way of looking at life changed and she became focused on others not her “invisibleness.”
This is my hope for you.  That you recognize your heritage as a believer and understand that it is your identity which brings God's favor into your life.  Who you are is amazingly visible to the Lord and He is proud to be your Heavenly Father.
We are His most precious crowning jewels that give sparkle to this dull world.

ChallengeLooking for the Invisible
This week we’re going to be visible, reversing the invisible, and that means taking our journey to the “streets” so to speak.
I know there is a person in everyone’s life that fits into this invisible category, whether it’s a child or an adult. We may think they are geeks, strange, weird, goofy, dorks, timid, nerds, different or off the wall … give it a name and someone is attached to it.
It’s those people that sometimes in their strange behavior, looks or activities who are often feeling just like us – invisible.  These are the people God wants us to focus on and bring to Him.
God, what do I need to see in that person that You see?

Our challenge is to seek out someone that you believe has become invisible and pulled back from society.  Briefly talk with them.  Help them to realize that they are loved and important to the Lord.  Share with them that God knows how they feel; He’s been where they are and knows their pain. He is moved by their hurting heart.
Can we do this for a total stranger? I think so.  It may be someone you see struggling in a store with kids crying, an elderly person trying to open a car door, someone new you see at work, the postal worker, bus driver, etc. 
Don’t fight the Holy Spirit when He points someone out to you.  He wants you to tell them that “God sees you”, they are not invisible to Him and are extremely favored with His love. 
By helping others realize how visible they are to God, we too will overcome our feeling of invisibility. We are the heirs of Jesus through our heritage as believers, and are to be highly visible individuals.
It’s time we take our positions as children of God. The Lord is about to make us visible because of who we are to Him.  Believe in His favor.

How God See You Music Video created by a student for a class assignment.

Hunter Hayes lived a life of feeling invisible when bullied throughout his childhood.  He wrote this song to let people know they are special.

Hunter Hayes - Invisible (OFFICIAL LYRIC VIDEO)
(Disclaimer: This is in support of the message only.)

Your story may have started out as being invisible, but God is about to change that.  Your journey will get noticed.
Until next time, God’s favor isn’t invisible.

Check Messages throughout the week.

“I see you … you’re not invisible to Me.”
– Jesus Christ

What's New this Week:

The God Who Sees You: Look to Him When You Feel Discouraged, Forgotten, or Invisible”

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Content and Image Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy. A.N.A. logo by J.C.Penney, Inc.
Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provide by Gateway Bible
Image credit: Google Images or Dreamstime Creative Common License if not specified.
Image: Sitting  Who Sign  Bethesda  Grace Audience I Saw  Girl Why Me  Apple
Tammy Maltby story behind the book. 
Disclaimer Notes: Results may vary due to lack of belief.

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