Today’s readings speak to me of how wanted we are by God. So often I feel like that can just be one more among a long list of Christian platitudes. There are lots of little Christian truisms that go in one ear and out the other, but that’s why it’s so important to let Scripture soak into your heart. When one prays with this passage from Ephesians, one allows the Holy Spirit to whisper these words to your heart. It’s so much different than passively reading.
Paul says we are chosen, we are destined to be chosen. He says that all things happen according to the intention of God’s will, and it is God’s will that we exist for His glory. The Psalm too speaks of our exalted status. God has chosen us to be his own. Finally, Jesus concludes His preaching against the Pharisees with another affirmation of our wanted-ness by God. “Not one of them has escaped the notice of God. Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Do not be afraid.”
This is something my heart has needed lately. I’ve found that I’m often angry about this out of my control. What doesn’t this person understand? Why do they act this way? Why does politics divide us so much? The list goes on and on. Wednesday night was a particularly difficult evening for me in this regard. I was trying to pray and just getting so angry that I began to cry. I full on ugly-cried for like 20 minutes. The thing that I was angry about did not warrant that kind of reaction, so I had to ask myself, “What’s really going on here?”
I realized that I often get angry at other people because I’m afraid of my own failure. If things don’t go according to my plan, then I must have failed somewhere. Anger is sometimes my defense mechanism against feeling the crushing weight of failure.
But Jesus says, “Do not be afraid.” Jesus says, “You have not escaped my notice.” Jesus says, “You are chosen. You are destined to be mine. You are good, and I love you.”
When these things comprise my identity, then I don’t need a defense mechanism. I can trust that Jesus loves me for who I am and that all He asks of me is to strive to love Him as best I can. That means sometimes I will fail, and that’s okay. All things are in His hands anyway.
That is why it’s so important to pray with Scripture passages like these. We need to fill our minds and hearts with the Truths of God, not the half-truths or the non-truths we feed ourselves. I wouldn’t have spent most of Wednesday night crying if I had known these truths in my bones.
So please pray with these words today. Write down what sticks out to you. Ask Jesus what He wants you to remember about yourself. You are loved.
-Amanda Benner, Director of Evangelization