When I decided to do Beautiful Lies on Facebook live, we couldn’t have guessed our son’s childhood friend would die tragically in the first week.
As the Word says, “Man is but a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow” (James 4:14). The painful truth is that people we love will be here one day and gone the next. Isaiah describes man’s glory like the flowers of the field — he rises, shines, the breath of the Lord blows on him, and like the flowers, he falls.
I won’t pretend to know why this precious 14-year-old boy went to heaven this week, when his family would have loved one more snow cone, one more baseball game, one more laugh.
As I reviewed week one of Beautiful Lies, I returned to the truth that won me at “hello.” We are cherished sons and daughters of the most High God —
What great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1a)
You may believe in God; you may not. Perhaps you muse, as I once did, about a God of your own making. One thing I know: man is but a breath. His days are like a fleeting shadow, but the word of our God stands forever. His Word has never failed to comfort or guide me or show me the way. We come from dust; to dust we return. No one is promised tomorrow — and in the end, our hearts will be weighed by the way we loved, so judge not.
Throughout God’s Word this theme repeats:
Do not put your trust in prices, in mortal men, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, the Maker of heaven and earth . . . . (Psalm 146 3-6)
Many of those closest to us are facing trial upon trial: the death of loved ones; the disappointment of divorce; the dregs of depression. While I don’t know why life brings pain and agony in the face of God’s lavish love — I do know putting our hope in man will only fail us. The only firm foundation is faith.
At Luke’s funeral, the pastor stated it as fact: “We were created for eternity.” And the only way to have eternity with God is to believe He gave His One Son in exchange for your life. That, simply put, is just how precious your soul is to the Father — He gave everything He had to purchase you with the blood of His one and only Son. Who would do that?
In times like this, we mine for gold. I sift sand for silver glints, moonlight casting light on stones.
His delight is not in the strength of the chariot, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love. (Psalm 47:10-11)
I read a fallacy once, a poem called “Children are mirrors of their mothers.” Sounds good, but it’s a lie. At the time of reading, it called to mind a vision of our first son running down the aisle of the grocery store in a yoda costume, totally wild. How glad I was he was not my mirror; children are not mirrors; they are gifts. We are reflections not of man, but of our Creator.
“God created man in his own image, male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27).
People are created in the likeness of God, but are not gods. Man is neither our refuge, our source of strength, or our Savior. Man is a reflection of a loving God who gave His Son willingly. The only answer I can see as I mine the passages of Scriptures is that He delights in those who fear Him. He is an ever-present help in times of trouble. In the midst of whatever deep waters you must cross, don’t let the waters overtake you. Call for help.
Call Him first. Then call a close friend who will hold out a hand and help you to the shore.
Man is but a mist, here one day and gone tomorrow. Love well today, my friend. If you do anything well today, love.
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
At the age of 18, I was recovering from an eating disorder, cutting, and suicide when I read Jennifer Strickland’s book Girl Perfect and it changed my life. At the age of 33, as I travel the world reaching youth for the gospel, this is the only book I recommend to girls who are struggling. The Lord has truly anointed Jennifer’s words through her story, not only to address the struggles of today’s generation of girls, but also to walk them through the healing necessary for victory.
Jennifer is a captivating speaker. She keeps the listener hanging in wonder of what’s coming next! Her presentation is not only absorbing, it reveals the truth of God’s power to heal a wounded spirit.
Barbara Brown, Former Stonecroft Ministries Regional Representative, San Diego, CA
“The ‘P’ word [perfection] may be the heaviest burden women bear. All the misguided things we do to attain it can keep us away from what we need most – the unconditional love of God the Father. The Girl Perfect Study Guide gives you a map to the wholeness you were created for.”
Nancy Ortberg, author and former teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church
“The Girl Perfect Study Guide shatters the lies girls and women believe and points to the ultimate truth, which really does set us free. I am confident that this study will help thousands discover a beauty, purpose, and worth that truly lasts. Thank you Jen for exposing the ‘perfect life’ and inviting girls to experience God’s ‘perfect love.'”
Allie Marie Smith
Allie Marie Smith, Founder of Wonderfully Made
One of the best testaments to what Jennifer is doing for the young girls and women of today is a comment from my eleven-year-old granddaughter: “Grammy, I want to read this book and hear her again. She’s good and I learned a lot.” This is exactly what I experienced from a grown-up perspective when I was introduced to Jennifer Strickland’s amazing story. Read it and see if you don’t get the real story from an icon model and a powerful speaker of truth.”