Let me ask you a question: Do you feel loved?
You should feel loved. Because you are loved.
But it’s easy to forget, isn’t it? Sometimes it can even be hard to believe.
It’s hard to feel loved when…
A family member’s words cuts to our core.
We’re left out.
The phone call doesn’t come.
The heartache is deep.
It’s hard to feel loved if we’re not getting the affirmation we think we need, or the respect we think we deserve. It’s hard to believe we’re loved when we’re painfully aware of our own failures and shortcomings. It’s difficult to grasp if things haven’t turned out quite the way we’d planned for. Or hoped for. Or prayed for.
At times like these we can feel anything but loved.
Proverbs 19:22 says “What a person desires it unfailing love.” The need to be loved is our deepest desire.
Maybe that’s why we’re mesmerized by love stories. We’re suckers for stories of people longing to find “The One”. We all have a tender place deep inside our souls where we want to be wanted. We want to be “the one”.
But what if you are?
Seriously, what if you actually are “the one”?
This morning I woke up thinking about a story Jesus told. One tiny word kept replaying in my mind.
Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the one lost sheep until he finds it? (Luke 15:3-4)
Let me ask you a Sunday school question with a Sunday school answer: How many sheep did the shepherd go after?
If you’re like me, you tend to think that God loves “the world”, as if God loves people in mass. And he does. But there’s so much more.
God doesn’t pursue people in groups. God pursues the people in a group.
He pursues each one. Why? Because he sees each one. He cares for each one. He loves each one.
You might think, “I’m nothing special. I’m just one tiny, insignificant person in this great big world full of people. I’m just one.”
That’s OK. In God’s sight one is enough.
In God’s sight each one is special.
Jesus used this same shepherd/sheep metaphor in John 10, and adds a tender element: “He calls his own sheep by name.”
God knows your name. Yeah. You. The gal who’s sitting at her computer screen, or staring at her phone, reading this right now. The gal who desires nothing more than simply this:
To be fully known and fully loved.
And you are.
You are loved.
You are loved.
Pause. Let this sink in. It’s a beautiful love story. It’s your beautiful love story.
Maybe you need to hear this today.
Maybe you feel a bit like that little lost sheep–a million miles away from where you’re supposed to be. Or want to be.
Or perhaps you’re fine, but your child, spouse, or loved one is not.
Don’t fear. Jesus sees. At some point, we are all “the one”.
So let me ask again: Do you feel loved?
Because you are.
PS. And now for the winner of A Moment to Breathe devotional…Congratulations to Deborah Horne! You are the lucky winner! Email your address and we’ll send the book your way (use the contact button on my website). I’m so excited for you to have a copy of A Moment to Breathe!
PSS. Someone you know needs a reminder that they are loved. Share this with a friend, will you?