When I was just an eighth grade home-school dork, I didn’t doubt that my parents loved me. I didn’t take their love for granted, but I also didn’t feel special because of their love. I could have been twice as dorky, and five times as home-schoolerrific, and their love would have held steady. But that’s their job. Only in “cutting the cord” and attending public high school did I discover if I was truly likeable as a person. For me, love was ordinary. I wanted to be liked.
From the example of Christ we know that love is an action (and in its purest form is self-sacrifice). Its something you do and not something you necessarily feel all the time. For instance, I could show a destitute stranger some love by offering a listening ear, buying him a meal, and even letting him spend the night at my house.
But I can do all of this and still not like the guy. I could sincerely desire his well-being but think he’s an absolute turd. Or worse — boring.
Perhaps you’re like me, and you occasionally feel like God’s love is . . . unspecial. “He loves everyone equally, so why should I feel special that He loves me?” If I loved everyone in the world exactly the same, then the people closest to me might feel undervalued. Unloved. Right? God’s love is far beyond my love so it’s not a fair comparison. But I don’t want to be loved out of some kind of obligation, I want to be loved uniquely. I want to be liked.
So does God ever go beyond the doing of loving, and revel in the feeling of liking? Does He enjoy spending time with us like I enjoy hanging with my best friend? Does He get that “first date excitement” like I do when Ms. Fourth-Pew-On-The-Right says yes to a coffee date? Or does He think that we’re boring, stupid, ugly, and unfunny . . . and simply choose to love us anyway because that’s His job?
Good news. God’s got a thing for you. He’s got a crush on you really. He delights in you:
“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” –Zephaniah 3:17
One reason God thinks we’re so awesome is because He made us. He’s God, and wouldn’t bother to create boring, pointless crap. He knew us before we were born and designed us individually to accomplish His will on earth. Being all-powerful, God could’ve created anything He wanted. Actually, He created exactly what he wanted. What he wanted was us. And He really, really likes us.
Think about the coolest thing you’ve ever made and how excited you were to show it to your friends and family. You didn’t find your best creation to be boring, stupid, and ugly. If you had designed the iphone 5, you’d be pretty stoked to show the whole world your handiwork.
Now imagine you had the power to create a person who could think and feel . . . and possibly love you back. I don’t know about you, but I’d be pretty obsessed with my person.
Even if my person wasn’t functioning to his full potential (sin does this to us), I’d still like my creation because I’d know his capabilities. I’d like him because I designed him to be amazing, and I’d love him because I’d want him to actually be amazing.
So next time you feel like your inner, eighth grade, home-school dork rears his sloppy, pre-pubescent head to remind you how weird you are . . . know that God likes you because He bothered to create you in the first place. And He doesn’t make mistakes.