What is something that is valuable to you? A class ring, a friendship, a cell phone, an iPad, a spouse, your children, your identity or home, maybe your wedding ring? For some of my teenager followers….maybe a parent….
Things that we value, we treasure. We take care of them. We know their whereabouts and keep track of them.
God does the same thing. He watches over those things that are his possessions – He knows where they are. As a matter of fact in Deuteronomy 7 verse 6 it says this: For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.
Wow, me? He has chosen me to be his treasured possession. Yep.
Doesn’t he know that I have issues? Yes.
Doesn’t he know that I am flawed? Sure.
And he says, I’m his treasured possession? Yes, he does.
Does he need to clean the lenses on his glasses?
I’m just a girl struggling to get through life – from high school through adult hood, I have messed up more times than I can ever count. I have made more mistakes than I can remember. Haven’t we all? We have short tempers, tendencies to exaggerate truth, maybe have cheated or stolen something, said a hurtful word or words and sometimes we are just stubborn. But here is the most amazing thing, while what you did may be a sin and not right -it does NOT change the fact that God loves you and that he chose you. Matter of fact, he loves you so much he treasures you. He knows your whereabouts all the time. He knows when you rise and when you lie down.
You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Psalm 139:1-3
There is no escaping his love. (check out my friend @NoelMcLeary‘s new song, “Can’t Escape Your Love.”)
Here’s the disconnect for us in our human nature: We project how people show us love to how God loves or does not love us. We forget to allow the truth of His Word to penetrate our hearts and thoughts and rather we allow how someone else has shown or not shown us love to reflect how we experience God’s love. Therefore, we limit how wide, how high and how deep His love is for us. Let me give you some examples.
- Maybe you have a dad that is an alcoholic and is unloving on most occasions. You may even be fearful of him because you never know what Dad you are getting when he is home or when you ask a question. Maybe one day he hugs you and says he loves you but on Friday night after a stop at the local bar, he says that he doesn’t love you and never wanted you.
- Maybe your mom is happy and pleased when you bring home the A’s on the report card, but every other day of the year she never takes time to applaud you for anything you do well, but instead is quick to point out things you don’t do so well or near perfect and you feel unloved.
- Maybe your husband is not supportive of your dreams and when he is angry he throws out words that are down right hurtful, heartbreaking and cause doubts in your mind. One day he thinks you are beautiful and the next is calling you names that are demeaning and downright cruel.
- Or is there the friend who can be there for you sometimes, but other times makes you feel like you are a pain or are not really welcomed in their life. You are simply an inconvenience.
Here is what happens, because we are human, we equate God’s love to how our family, our parents and others treat us and show us love. We allow these earthly experiences with a big group of flawed human beings, to affect our view, our feelings and perspective about what “love” is to us. What we need to remember is that there is nothing I can do, or you can do, that can make God love you more or less than he already does! He loves you bumped, bruised, blemished and all!
God’s love is not conditional like people, it is an unconditional love. It is an agape love, which is a Greek word that means a selfless love; one that loves without expecting anything back. That is the love that God has to share with us. (John 14:21)
The one who loves me will be loved by my father and I too will love them and show myself to them. John 14:21
For a long time, in my adulthood, I struggled with this. I knew that God loved me with my mind, but my heart had a hard time believing and accepting that I was loved. I could list all the reasons that I did not deserve to be loved. I knew my weaknesses, I knew my flaws and shortcomings and often times as a teenager I was “rejected” because of those weakness. The rejections lead me to believe that I was not someone who could be loved. My head knowledge and heart had not been n sync. But then I had a moment when I heard these words from a familiar song to many of us by Kari Jobe, that said, “I hold your every moment…” wait, what? You care so much about me you hold my every moment? I calm your raging seas…. Wait a second, I read something about that in the gospels. You stopped the storm and waves with three words, “Quiet, be still,” (Mark 4:39).
You mean you would do that for me, the ragged, flawed person I am? Yes.
Wow – and slowly as I stirred on these thoughts and allowed my heart to feel what my head was thinking – I had a connection between the two….Jesus loved me despite flaws, despite mistakes, despite blemishes….despite what other’s said was wrong with me.
Our shortcomings do not have to define us but rather refine us. I often have to remind myself that I am simply the clay, God is the potter. He knew what he crafted in my mother’s womb and your mother’s womb- – he knew what the clay was BUT he also knew what the clay would become!
Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8