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Day 16

Who Am I?

by René Schlaepfer

Read 1 Peter 2:9-12

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. [1 Peter 2:9]

Dave Roever was in Vietnam when he was burned all over his body by a phosphor grenade. After he woke up in a hospital burn unit, David knew he looked grotesque. He felt he was worthless to anyone and without a future.

Dave wasn’t alone in his room. There was another man who had also been badly burned. When this man’s wife visited, she took off her wedding ring, put it on the nightstand, and said, “I’m so sorry, but there’s no way I could live with you now. We are over.” And she walked out the door. That soldier shook with tears for hours. Within two days, he died.

Three days later, Dave’s wife arrived. After seeing what had happened with the other soldier, Dave had been dreading her visit. But his wife, a strong Christian with a great sense of humor, kissed him on the only place on his face that wasn’t bandaged, and then said, “Frankly, Dave, in some ways, this is an improvement.” Then she smiled and added, “Honey, I love you. I’ll always love you. We are going to get you on your feet and out of here!” Within weeks Dave was healthy and out of the hospital. The difference between the two men? One word: Hope. Dave went on to speak all over the world, bringing to others the hope he found in Christ.

You may feel physically or spiritually ugly and worthless. You may have even had to endure rejection from loved ones. But in today’s passage, God’s Word says of all those who trust in Him: You are a chosen people. You are a royal priesthood. You are a holy nation. You are a people belonging to God. You have received mercy. You have a purpose: to declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light!

A woman emailed me: “I used to secretly refer to myself as ‘the daughter of calamity.’ With an abusive past and what looked like a short lifespan ahead, I thought of myself that way for years. Well, Jesus has been doing some extensive remodeling lately, and there is no place left in my soul for this kind of thinking. I am beginning to think there is a purpose for me. I need a new ‘secret name’ for myself.” I emailed back: “How about we rechristen you ‘Hope’?”

Question to Consider

How closely aligned is my own self-image and self-talk with what the Bible says is true of me? How does this affect my sense of hope?


Lord, help me to see myself and my future the way You see me!