It was an emotional Ruti Olajugbagbe, who won the final of The Voice UK at the weekend. As well as singing her two main songs: “If You’re Not The One” & “Dreams”, the 18 year old student from Essex took part in a moving duet with her coach, Sir Tom Jones, as they sang, “What a Wonderful World” – she described it as “a highlight of my life so far.” When the verdict was announced, she could hardly believe it. “I wasn’t expecting to get this far,” she said; “I could not have imagined any of this a week ago,” and of the blind auditions she humbly admitted, “I didn’t expect a turn.”
Many of us don’t recognise our own potential, and often it takes someone else to bring it out. Through the coaching of Sir Tom Jones, Ruti grew in confidence and skill from week to week. But this is not the end of Ruti’s partnership with Sir Tom. He has promised to be there for her and to guide her as she takes her first steps as a professional singer.
In the same way, our Creator accepts us as we are – we don’t need to have reached an acceptable standard of behaviour or good deeds – but because of His love for us, He doesn’t leave us as we are. His desire is for us to grow in character and ability; just as a child grows into an adult. You may think that you don’t have the social skills for this world or that you will never amount to much, but God sees you differently. He sees what you will become as you allow Him to shape you into the person He created you to be. Far from being a celestial judge waiting for you to make your next mistake, He is a perfect Father, full of love and compassion, who delights to see you grow and mature.
Are you struggling with an area of your life that you desperately want to change? Hand it over to the One who made you – there are some things we just can’t do on our own. Talk to Jesus; ask Him to help you break free. He’s available 24/7 and is waiting to hear from you. Or maybe you were born with skills that you long to develop? There’s a certain Someone who would love to be your coach. When you hand over your future to Jesus, He won’t let you down.
3,000 years ago, a man called David was on the run from his enemies. He later testified to the way that God had strengthened him, supported him and protected him during that time:
“God is my protection. He makes my way free from fault. He makes me like a deer that does not stumble; he helps me stand on the steep mountains. He trains my hands for battle so my arms can bend a bronze bow. You protect me with your saving shield. You support me with your right hand. You have stooped to make me great. You give me a better way to live, so I live as you want me to.”
(Psalm 18v32-36 NCV)
Just as a deer learns to “stand on the steep mountains”, so our Creator helps us to grow and mature, and to overcome when life gets tough. In fact He wants to give each one of us “a better way to live.” So start the conversation, be honest with Jesus; put your life in His hands. He’s just waiting for your invitation to help.