“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. (Isaiah 43:1)
“Yes, there is that voice, the voice that speaks from above and from within and that whispers softly or declares loudly: “You are my Beloved, on you my favor rests.” (Henri Nouwen, Life of the Beloved)
“Shall we sit here, Nana?” I inquired as we came upon an ancient Oak whose branches stretched out over our heads offering a canopy of shade we couldn’t resist. I pushed her wheelchair until it rested next to an iron bench and took a seat next to her. It was our favorite tree and our favorite spot on the grounds of this quiet place that was now her home. She was ninety-eight years old and the matriarch of our family, not to mention one of my dearest friends. Maybe it was because we had become friends over the years that I felt the freedom to tease her with a particular question that always brought a smile to her face. “Nana, am I your favorite? You can tell me. I promise I won’t tell anyone!” J
I don’t think I’m unique in wanting to be “the favorite”, am I? It seems to be a need that bubbles up from the core of the human heart. I notice it in children when they hunt for assurances that they are the fastest, the cutest, or the “best” at something. I see it in the smile that erupts when a friend calls a friend her “bff” or when a husband whispers to his wife “You are my one and only.” It is about belonging and being wanted. It has to do with, what I believe is, a God given desire to be special. I was reading the story of the last supper this week and came upon verse 13:23 where John refers to himself as “the disciple who Jesus loved” and I heard a familiar echo. “Am I your favorite?”
It is staggering that the One who made the heavens and the earth summons us by name! He keeps track of our thoughts and knows the sound of our voices when we pray. He understands our need to be someone’s favorite and longs for us to feel His heart that spills over with joy for us. When my soul cries out to belong, especially on days when I can’t feel that I’m wanted, I return to Gethsemane and kneel next to Jesus. There, I experience His unfailing kindness. And, as I watch Him pray with His face to the ground, I remember the length that Everlasting Love went to make me His beloved child. We belong. We are wanted. We are His!
“Thank you, Father, for making me yours and calling me beloved. That your love is “everlasting” and your kindness, “unfailing” touches my heart with gladness! I love being one of your favorites! Amen.”
What about you?
Where do you best hear and feel God’s love?
Has your heart been touched by God’s unfailing kindness?
What does it mean to you that God has summoned you by name and called you beloved?
You are special to God. He loves you with an everlasting love!
Click here to buy Listening for Love Kindle Edition
Copyrighted.com Registered & Protected