Everyone wants to be wanted. We all want to know that we have value, that we belong and that our life makes a difference. Lacking that sense of belonging and worth can lead to all sorts of destructive behavior that wounds both the individual and the people surrounding them. Even if things do not go that far, people can be left with an emotional wound they carry with them for years.
I've spoken to a number of men who shared how they waited until they were in their 50's or older before hearing their fathers say they were proud of them. Many never heard those words at all. I can only imagine the similarities that exist for women. All of us need that affirmation.
I remember how, shortly after we adopted our children, we would occasionally be asked, "do you love us as much as if we were your own children?"
"You are our own children," we would respond.
"You know what we mean," they would say, "do you love us the same as if we were born to you?"
You can hear in those heartfelt words the deep question, "are we wanted and loved? Do we really belong?" To that deep and meaningful question we would answer, "Yes, we love you the same, maybe even more, because we chose you."
Our children did not come to us by biology, they came by choice. We wanted them to be our children and for us to be their parents. We loved them and wanted to share our lives with them. There was no question in our minds they were wanted. We did whatever it took, met every requirement to have them become our family.
In the Apostle Paul's letter to the Ephesians, he reminds his readers that God, "chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world... He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will." (1:4-5)
God chose us. God wants us. Even before the world was formed, God desired and chose us to be in relationship with him. It was God's pleasure, desire and will for us to be adopted into God's family. We matter. We have value. We belong. If you asked God if you are loved, you would hear the words, "of course, that is why I chose you."
There has never been a day when my wife and I regretted our decision. In fact, it is one of the best decisions we ever made, right up there with our decision to follow Christ and our decision to marry one another. Our family has its challenges like all families, but there was never any doubt that we loved our children, that they were precious, and that they were wanted.
Likwise, there is no doubt that God loves us. We too, are precious in his sight and we are wanted. It was God's plan from the very beginning to include us in the family and to share the work of ministry together. When the King of kings and Lord of Lords, the Creator of the ends of the earth declares that from the beginning of time you were wanted, you can be sure you are valuable.
We need to be reminded how much God loves and desires us. We should rejoice in the amazing passion of God to share life in relationship with us, and then, we should go to share that good news with others. The people we meet every day need to know God loves them, that God was, and is willing to do all that is necessary to have a relationship with them. We need to tell the waitress that is working too hard, the single parent trying to hold it together, the person who feels abandoned and everyone like them, that God chose them from the beginning.
Be blessed in the knowledge of how greatly you are loved, may you be a blessing as you share that love, brought through Jesus Christ, as broadly as you can.