3How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He's the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. 4Long before he laid down earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. 5Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) 6He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.
--Ephesians 1:3-6 (The Message)
You know how long I’ve loved my husband? I didn’t know it then, but I fell in love with him when I called his house one day and his mother said he was in the garage looking at a baby bird in a nest. I’d known him several months at that point, considered him a good friend. We hung out after choir at church, sometimes talking for hours. But when I learned what a truly gentle person he was, that was the seed that planted a growing love in my heart.
His story is different from mine. He’ll tell you that he fell in love with me when he saw me in the choir. In fact, that’s why he joined. He loved me long before I knew I loved him. He waited patiently for me to be done with the worldly attentions I was getting as a seventeen-year-old almost grown woman. He endured hours of conversation concerning my teen angst over the latest boyfriend. He bided his time, while serving as my anchor in a crazy world.
You know how long I’ve loved God? Almost as long as I’ve loved my husband. But, just as in that case, He loved me long before I made the commitment. Well, okay. There’s no way I could have loved Him when He first loved me. I wasn’t even around then! The earth wasn’t even here. There was nothing but void. And yet, there was God. And He was thinking about me. And he was thinking about you.
I’ve been very blessed in my life. My parents were loving people who concentrated on their children. I formed deep relationships with best friends. My husband chose me before I knew he existed. And my Lord settled on me as the focus of His love. Some people, maybe you, missed out on those first three. But when you consider that God created a whole world just for you, that He loved you enough to scientifically create just the right atmosphere for you to be able to breathe and live—to thrive—all the other pales in comparison.
What does God want in return? Again, He’s only thinking of me. He wants me to be made whole and holy by his love. The New International Version (NIV) says it like this: “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” Am I holy and blameless? Well, no. Are you? You can’t be because “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”—Romans 3:23. That began with the very first two human beings on the earth, Adam and Eve. But, because God focused on me, and actually chose me to be holy and blameless, He sent His Son to stand in for me, to die so I wouldn’t have to, so I—so you—can live eternally in His presence. “God sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin.”—Romans 3:25*. And in God’s infinite wisdom, “God sets things right. He also makes it possible for us to live in his rightness.”—Romans 3:26b*.
Heavenly Father, It’s almost too much to think about. How can You love me so much that You would create a world where I could thrive. And when I sin and fall short, You’ve provided me with a way out. Why did You choose me as a focus of Your love? I guess I’ll find that out someday. But for now, I’ll enjoy Your attention and do my best to focus my love on You. Thank You, Lord, for even helping me with that. In Jesus Name, Amen.
*From The Message