“Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes.” Ephesians 1:4
Everyone, at some point in their lives, waits to be chosen. In grade school this may have looked like raising your hand and waiting to be called on by the teacher or being the first selected for the playground dodgeball team. In high school this may have been waiting to be selected as the captain of an athletic team or the drum major in marching band. For me, it was making the varsity cheerleading squad when I was only a sophomore, landing the roles I would audition for in school plays and being asked out on a date by my latest crush. For me it also meant having a dad who chose me, who stepped in when my biological father had stepped out and opened his heart up to love me as if I was his very own flesh and blood. Each choosing provided me some value but my dad choosing me, that’s where I placed my value the most. That is, until my dad died. For many years of my life, losing him meant losing his choice and losing my value. Although I met God in the emergency room the night my dad died, I had no idea that He had already chosen me or that my true value came from God alone.
Recently, during an online Sunday morning sermon, I heard a pastor tell his parishioners that we are all a chosen people. He went on to quote someone who believed that if you exist, if there is breath in your lungs, then you have been chosen. Chosen for what? To be God’s minister and voice to the lost and the hurting. During my morning prayer time the following day, God reminded of this sermon. In my prayers I confessed that in this life, it really doesn’t matter who does and does not choose us because we are already chosen by God. Suddenly I remembered all the waiting I’ve endured throughout my adult life. Waiting for what? Waiting to be chosen again. My dad died 40 years ago and I’ve spent those years trying to replace the value he gave me. I also have tried to overcome the message of no value my biological father gave in his choice of walking away. This has ended in much heart break and too many opportunities for others to define my value. It’s led me down a slippery slope of morphing myself into someone I was not made to be simply to fit in or please the company I was with. This has included toxic and/or controlling relationships with employers, significant others, long term friendships and even with select family members. How often do many of us run after value through people, careers or material things?
What was God’s answer to what I told Him in prayer that morning? God showed me that my dad didn’t choose me. God chose my dad for me. God knew the man my biological father was and the dad he would never be. So God sent my dad, a man who loved and protected me, to gift me with a glimpse of just how my Heavenly Father loves me. This is true with every provision God has given me right down to my career, my children, even the modest home I have raised my family in. God chose me to love Him and to love others. He also chooses other people, circumstances and things to show His great love for me (and you.)
My dad loved me fiercely, but he was human and no human love can come close in comparison to God’s love for you or me. I once heard a true story about a father who gave his youngest child a very expensive watch. He did it in front of his oldest child. As he was gifting this watch to his youngest offspring, he looked at his first born and said, “When you make something out of your life, I will buy you an expensive watch too.” This father died before he could keep that “promise” leaving his oldest to believe his value was defined by his father’s definition of success and measured through the cost of an over priced arm ornament. This father missed out on seeing his oldest as the person God made them to be: a person who fiercely protects their family and friends, a business owner and provider for their family, a person who loves unconditionally and who works harder and more honestly than their father ever did. Also a person who plans to someday buy their own expensive watch as proof that they are not what their father saw in them.
God will never define our value through material things. He doesn’t define our value through a relationship status, body size, hair/skin color or job title either. God doesn’t even define our value through our ability to bare a child or not. This one is especially important to women because marriage and motherhood still seem to be determiners of value placed on women even in 2023. God defines our value one way: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8). How much does God value us? I know it sounds cliche but He thinks we’re too die for. to God, we are more valuable that the world’s most expensive watch. We are worth dying on a cross bearing all condemnation and sin. Like a shepherd cares for his sheep, we are worth leaving the 99 and going after the lost one. God’s love for us outweighs any measurement of human love and human value.
Are you waiting to be chosen? Are you chasing after people or success to prove your worth or replace the abandonment or judgement from your own father (or mother)? You can stop waiting and you can stop chasing. You are already chosen and more valuable to God than you will ever be able to understand or conceive. No watch, career, relationship status or other human definition of success will ever give you the value that God already gave you when He created you. His value isn’t meant to understand either. It’s simply meant for embracing and accepting even though it’s beyond human comprehension.