How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! Psalm 139:17
God’s love for us is the foundation of our Christian life. His love is the most powerful and transformational force in our lives. It is everything! It is the fuel that we live off of and the very thing that “compels us” to bring this message to the world around us (2 Cor. 5:14). God wants us to know that we are uniquely special to him. He wants us to be secure in who we are. We are part of the family. We belong.
We were all born to be loved. Our hearts were created for love, trust, and affection. Babies will not survive if they do not receive proper care and affection. When babies are rescued from neglectful homes, they often show signs of extensive physical and mental damage. Unfortunately, even those with the best upbringings are not immune to being wounded in this world. If you have been a human being on this planet for any amount of time, I’m positive you’ve experienced heartbreak. We get bullied in school, rejected, left out by our friends, labeled, insulted, and so on. We start building walls around our hearts to protect ourselves from the pain. We learn that it isn’t safe to be ourselves anymore so we hide behind those walls and try to reinvent ourselves again and again. We experience shame, confusion, and loneliness because we don’t feel accepted. When these wounds are unhealed, we will search and search for belonging, never understanding that we already loved without conditions.
In our journey with God, one of the first things he will want to establish in you is a foundation of love and belonging. “His spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children” (Romans 8:16). His love for us is like a healing balm for the wounds of our hearts. His love restores our identity completely, giving us freedom and wholeness. We are safe to bring down those walls we built around our hearts. We are perfectly loved exactly as we are in this moment. There is a reason we are exhorted again and again in the Bible to remain in the love of God (John 15:9). We are made to be “rooted and grounded” in this love (Eph. 3:17). “Keep yourselves in the love of God” (Jude 1:21). This is so powerful because one encounter with the love of God can undo years of heartbreak and trauma.
Do you feel special to God? Do you rest secure in his love for you? This is really important because if we don’t understand that we belong, we will try to prove ourselves to God and work to earn his acceptance. We will start comparing ourselves to others we view as more gifted, anointed, or blessed than we are. We will work more and do more and strive for God’s favor. We might become jealous of people we think are closer to God, and judgmental of people we think are further from him than we are. God wants us healed and free to enjoy our relationship with him. Every person on this earth is special and important to him. He stands with arms wide open and joyfully embraces you as his child. It is from this foundation of unconditional love that we are transformed and set free to be all that God has created us to be.
Exercise. Take a moment right now to imagine yourself wrapped in the love of God. Imagine yourself without any of your giftings or talents. Imagine that all the “good things” you’ve done are not there. There is nothing but raw, vulnerable you. Receive God’s love in the very core of who you are. Let him speak to you. Ask him what he loves about you. You are fully seen, known, and loved right now in this moment.