Do you ever wonder if God Cares About You?
Yes, You. Not the person you are supposed to be or thought you would be. Not the person others expected you to be or you imagine you could be one day. Not the person who finally gets his or her act together. Not even the other people you see who seem to be "getting it" just right. But you. The real you. Just as you are. That one and only person who carries your DNA.
We all ask this question to some extent. It is a base level, seemingly insatiable curiosity that permeates through the new air with breath each day, the ground we walk on, our interactions with others, and the scenery we see on our commute to work. We ask: Why does this all exist, and do I matter in it? And above all, do I matter to its creator, and does he, she, or it love me...if one even exists?
God Cares About Your Story
As a community, we believe that Jesus is both the God of the universe and loves each of us individually, right where we are. God not only loves us - He is the author and perfecter of our story. He is the one who is catalyzing this beautiful opportunity we call our lives. Likewise, Jesus gives us hope and a future that goes beyond our circumstances. Yet, at some level, we all struggle to believe and truly know this. At a base level we must understand that all good stories begin with a relationship.
In the Book of Genesis, we see that God created the heavens, the earth and everything in them. He created universes, stars, planets, waters, sky, mountains, earth, and ultimately landed in a garden with a couple people who He created and said were "very good". Yet, these folks turned away from God’s love and towards sin. The relationship between the creator and created was broken. In this moment, there was grace as God clothed these people who found themselves naked, ashamed, and divided from their source of life - their creator.
Yet, this was unacceptable to God. He loved them too much to not come to their rescue, and sent Jesus to live a perfect life, conquer their sin through giving his life, and to invite them into eternal resurrected life in Him. Jesus offers us new life in Him.
God chose to love us in this way, because He cares about us and knows us personally. Psalm 139 tells us that He “knit us together in our mothers womb” and Jesus tells us that God cares so much about us that “every hair on our head” is accounted for. When Jesus came, he emphasized God’s care by teaching his disciples to pray to God as their Father. Our personal stories matter to God, because He is our perfect father. He cares deeply with perfect love for His children. Each and every one of them.
Like any loving parent, God cares about His children so much that he refuses to accept anything but his children knowing he loves them on an individual level. God is doing everything possible to help us know that his affections are for us. We run from this, hide from it, and divide over it, but at the end of the day our stories are made manifest in and through it. Jesus' grace and love is the baseline theme of our individual stories, and it is His desire that we know that, and know Him fully.
Jesus Shows Us That God Cares Personally
There s a beautiful way that the early church used to sing about Jesus' story. The Apostle Paul, a man whose story changed radically after meeting Jesus, took that hymn and implemented God's story into a letter he wrote to a newly forming church community in Greece called Philippi. He said the following about Jesus:
being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant,being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man,he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
This is what HE did for all of us. He gave Himself that we, and each and every individual may have eternal life in Jesus. This doesn't just apply to after we die, this matters for our stories in the here and now.
Here's one way this is playing out in the story of someone in our community:
A person in our community has felt this relentless, individualized love of God in their first season as a part of this ever-forming church. Through their relationship with others this person is learning how to trust God's love for them, and is finding that it is true in their own life. For years, this person was afraid that if people truly knew the sins of their past, that they would be disqualified from God using them in powerful ways. They imagined that one day the rug would be pulled out from under them and their past debts would come to collect. While they still struggle with this fear on occasion, they are finding healing from the loving affirmation of others saying: "me too" about the brokenness and sin in their life, and saying "you too" to the fact that God loves this person individually regardless of what they've done, where they've been, or who they have hurt.
Jesus took care of all of these things and is bringing full restoration to the stories of those who are turning back toward Him, and allowing Him to author a better story in their life.
Do you find yourself hoping for this kind of new reality? God is not absent. He loves you individually and cares about your story.
Maybe you have a friend in mind who would be so encouraged to hear that the God of the universe gave everything for them. Jesus gave His life for them as if they were the only person on earth.
This is true for us, no matter what we may be feeling, or the fears, doubts, or circumstances of our stories – God loves personally and desires a relationship. That is amazing love and grace. Jesus shows us the great love God has for us as individuals. Our stories are a beautiful opportunity for redemption that He is weaving together into a tapestry of healing, restoration, and hope.
We hope you will find this as an encouragement for you today. It is our prayer for you, that you will know that your story matters to God.