It was a rare, quiet afternoon. Our obligations had been cancelled, because two of my daughters were sick and sleeping. My oldest son was painting, and my other two kids were absorbed in books. I sat down with a steaming cup of my favorite tea and picked up an article I'd been waiting to read. I didn't get far when my eyes fell across the words "chosen, beautiful, loved." I stopped. Those words touched my soul. Why? As I thought through the meaning of each word, I began to understand, and I was humbled, thankful, and amazed.
Chosen by definition means "the object of choice or divine favor." If I am chosen by God, which Ephesians 1:4 tells me I am, "For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world.", then God purposely created me to be the object of His divine favor, but why? Psalm 149:4 says, "God takes delight in his people." God created me and He delights in me. He chose me before the creation of the world, created me in His image, then willingly gave up Heaven, coming down to earth to suffer and die for my sins, so I could be forgiven, redeemed, and promised eternity with Him. Wow! Love beyond description, beautiful beyond understanding.
My mind filled with images of God's amazing creation: a brilliant sunrise and a joy-filled smile, soul-stirring music and a tender kiss, a tiny, newborn infant and a lifelong marriage, delighted laughter and vibrant autumn leaves, glistening morning dew and me. I, too, am God's creation, fearfully and wonderfully made. For the first time in my life, I felt truly beautiful, not outwardly or physically, but wholly, perfectly, incredibly, simply, God-created beautiful.
Reveling in that unexpected feeling, I began to understand the words of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 in a new way. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." Those verses aren't just an ideal for human love as I've always understood them, even more they are an expression of God's remarkable, unfathomable love for each of us. The words flowed through my soul like a balm, deep, lavish, and intimate, and my heart sang out in prayer.
Oh Father, how can I begin to thank you for choosing me, creating me perfectly and beautifully in Your image, for loving me beyond understanding? I have no words, except thank you. Thank you for who You are, and for who I am in You, chosen, beautiful, and loved, created by Your Hand to reflect Your glory, Your truth, Your light and Your love to a hurting, broken, lost and seeking world. Amen.
Cindee Snider Re lives in Sussex, WI with her husband, their five children, two cats, and two Shichon puppies. She enjoys quiet evenings, long walks, good books, homeschooling her kids, and lots of good, strong, hot, black tea.