What do you do when you’ve made something you’re proud of, like a picture? Do you put it somewhere prominent, give it to someone you care about, write your name on it?
A Bible verse from Ephesians says we are God’s workmanship. To me that means he has made us, and is proud of us!
In this clip from Toy Story 2, it looks kind that the repairman is fixing and cleaning Woody, but look what he does to his foot! He paints over Andy’s name! Andy of course if Woody’s owner, and nothing can take away the fact that Woody belongs to Andy-even this.
We are made by God. He is proud of us! When he made the world, it ‘was good’. In Genesis chapter 1 verse 31 after everything was made, “It was very good”. God loved his creation so much he desired relationship with it, particularly with us as humans, made ‘in his image’. He gave us responsibility, beautiful things to enjoy, & the chance to know & love him completely.
When people tell us we are nothing, don’t matter, will never amount to anything, that we’re ugly, rubbish or words to these effects, know that you are not! You are God’s workmanship! Just as Andy wrote his name on Woody because he loved him & he belonged to Andy, God wants to write his name on us, if we choose to belong to him. God loves making things-hence why he made us creative. There’s a reason Jesus was a carpenter!
YOU HAVE A PURPOSE. God doesn’t make anything if it isn’t worth making! Even wasps have a purpose. Apparently even wasps are necessary creatures? If it weren’t for little tiny wasps, according to a wasp expert, there wouldn’t be any figs, because a fig is an inside-out flower that needs in-dwelling wasps to pollinate it. Parasitic wasps lay their eggs in other creatures, including spiders, and keep their populations in balance. Nest-building wasps showed humans how to make paper out of wood. And if you just stay cool around wasps, & don’t fuss or flap, you’re very unlikely to get stung. God doesn’t make anything if he doesn’t see a purpose to it-if he doesn’t love it. So we are all precious to God. Already he loves us all. But to become part of his family is to choose to do so. That is when he is most proud of us, when we learn to live his way…
In Toy Story 1 when Buzz realises he is just a toy (after seeing ‘Made in Taiwan’ on his arm), he despairs. He says, “I’m not a space ranger. I’m just a toy, a stupid little insignificant toy”. But Woody says, “Being a toy is a whole lot better than being a space ranger. . . Look, over in that house is a kid who thinks that you are the greatest. . . you are his toy”. Buzz then looks at his boot and sees “Andy” written in permanent marker. Immediately he is saved from despair through the assurance that he belongs to, and is loved by, Andy. In the same way, our value is only found through being loved by God. It’s not about what credit we think we can earn or how good we thing we are-it’s about knowing that God loves us as we are.
YOU CAN BELONG! The man in the clip says, looking at Woody, “He’s just like new”! Actually the way to be made new is not to change our outward appearance- it’s to join God’s toy box, and be made new on the inside. It’s to come to Jesus as we are. When the Toy Story toys feel unwanted, they still belong to Andy. When others try to claim them as their own (like Sid in Toy Story 1), they still belong to Andy. If we belong to God nothing will change that, even labels that other people give us.
Buzz & Woody may argue about being the favourite or best, but for Andy there is a place for all his toys. Being a Christian is not about being the best. It’s about belonging-again, something we can choose to do! God doesn’t get bored of us or stop wanting to spend time with us like we can do with toys. He always has time for us, loving us when we act unlovable, even when we don’t love or value ourselves. To be in God’s toy box means we can come to him to be mended, come to him for attention, & he will never forget about us or let us go.
You are so precious to God that he wants to write his name on you, so you can be with him forever. May your identity be first and foremost that you belong to him. In John chapter 10 verses 27-28 Jesus says if we follow him, “No-one can snatch them out of my hand”. In Toy Story 3 Andy gives the toys away, but God will never do that with us!
We are not toys, but what is your story? Do you need fixing? Do you want to belong? Maybe there is some rejection in your past but he will never reject you, & wants to wipe away the past!
You are precious to God! Do you know that? If you choose to belong to him, he will never let you go!
If you are in God’s toy box nothing can snatch you away from that or blot his name out from your life! Do you know that he loves you & is proud of you?