Thursday, March 17, 2011

Precious. Honored. Loved.

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name, you are mind. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through
the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will
not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior . . . since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you . . . "
Isaiah 43: 1-4

Precious: of great value, dear, and beloved. Honored: to hold in honor or high respect; revered. Loved: to have love for. Don't we all want to be called all of those things? Precious, honored, loved.

Every person has had a time in their lives when they didn't feel any of those things. Maybe you are in a marriage that's struggling. Maybe you are parenting children who don't appreciate the meals you cook and laundry you do. Maybe your jeans don't fit because babies change bodies and precious is just not what comes to mind when you look in the mirror. And loved might not be how you feel if you've never forgiven yourself for a sin that once infested your life.

At the same time, we can all think of a time when we felt precious, honored, and loved and experienced those feelings about someone else in our lives. As I walked down the aisle on my wedding day on my father's arm, I felt incredibly loved. Not only was I walking toward a man who loved me unconditionally and more incredibly than I even realized at the time, I had been loved by my parents who raised me and gave me all kinds of opportunities to be the girl God made me to be.

My little son is eight months old, and he is the most precious little boy. His laugh is precious, the way he plays with my necklace when I hold him is precious, and the way that he crawls with everything in him to get the tv remote is precious. I look at him and my heart swells.

This is how God feels about us, multiplied by a million. We can't even understand the depth of God's love for us. Even when you don't feel precious or honored or loved, remember how you felt when you held your child for the first time or saw that first smile. Know that no matter what is going on in your life or whatever sin has a hold on you, God has written the words precious, honored, and loved on your hearts. There is nothing you can do to take that away.

As parents, we have a responsiblity to not only understand God's love for us, but to make sure our children understand as well. There are so many forces in their world that will tell them that they aren't good enough or pretty enough or special. But we know that's not true and owe it to them to make sure they know too . . . just how much they are precious, honored, and loved by us and by God.

God . . . we often feel beat up, ugly, and not good enough. Please help us to understand your love for us and choose to live in that love instead of the sin of this world. Give our children hearts that love you. Thank you for loving us and doing for us what we could not do for ourselves. Amen.

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