For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. - Isaiah 53:2-3
Body image can be a real struggle for those with chronic illness! Medications can cause weight gain and/or loss. Constant sickness from a compromised immune system leaves our complexions sallow, and weeks spent home-bound makes our skin pale and sickly.
It's difficult to feel attractive when you're confined to a wheelchair or hidden behind a walker. Bags under the eyes from countless sleepless nights and a face etched with pain lines are difficult to hide with makeup, even if you do feel well enough to expend the energy to apply it.
Constant weight fluctuations and painful skin and muscles can leave us limited as to fashion options, and shopping trips that require trying on clothes are difficult, at best.
They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I say, “Hogwash!”
The only beholder we should be hearing from is Jesus Christ.
Here's what our Father says about the issue.
Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. - 1 Peter 3:3-4
God is not concerned with my outward adornment... whether my hair is thinning, or my jewelry is a medical ID, or my legs are covered with pressure stockings. He doesn't care that my smile is crooked from palsy, that my joints are gnarled, or that I have fat deposits from steroids. Christ doesn't see my hives or my IV marks or my scars.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” - 1 Samuel 16:7
My heart glows for Him. My eyes sparkle with the hope that is inside me. My faith is worn like a shawl around me. I wear His wedding band with pride. My head is covered with humility as I submit myself to Christ. I do my best to be gentle and quiet with the help of His Spirit.
And I know that no matter my appearance, I am precious in the sight of God. I am beautiful to my King. And so are you, dear one. So are you.
Heavenly Father, You make me feel beautiful. You make me beautiful. Thank You for seeing into the heart of me, past my insecurities. Please draw me closer to you. In Jesus' Name, Amen...
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