Several weeks ago in church, the message was about grace. To a certain extent, it’s always about that. But in his explanation of the profundity and goodness of grace, the preacher made a point of saying something that absolutely rocked my world. He reminded us that we are wanted. We are desired of God. Christ came down to rescue us because He wanted us. He gave His life because He wanted to redeem us. And because Jesus wants us, we are both wanted and wantable, desired and desirable.
When I heard this, I had to go to the back of the sanctuary and cry my eyes out. I realized then that I have long believed that I am not desirable — that it is not possible that I could be lovable. I have operated from this premise for a long time: it has shaped my approaches to relationships of all kinds for most of my life.
I am not always willing to acknowledge where this assumption comes from. In my honest moments, I know I’m just afraid of rejection, and this fear determines how I relate to the world around me. I'm not willing to face rejection from friends, so I don't often put myself in a vulnerable place.
And when confronted with this new idea, baldfaced and bright, I did not know what to do with myself. But it’s gradually shaping the way that I view myself and the world around me.
The fact that I am wanted and wantable means that I can move into the lives of others without fear of rejection. It means I don't have to be afraid to approach potential new friends or people I'm interested in. I don't have to quake in my ankle boots when I face the possibility of a lukewarm response to my personality and selfhood. I may still be rejected, but I don't have to fear it.
It means I can stand before an audience with confidence. They may not like my voice, but I don't have to be afraid of that. The only On Who matters has declared that I am ultimately, foundationally, fundamentally desirable.
Knowing this and believing it is changing the way I treat myself and approach others. It's changing the way I walk and move and think and eat. It's like a sunrise. It's like hope. And truthfully, it's the only way we can ever have real confidence.
Confidence doesn't come from ourselves or from what we do. It comes from knowing we are endlessly wanted by the One Who made us, no matter how many times I wish I was someone different. I am wanted, exactly the way I am.
So are you.
Do you know it? Do you believe it? Do you know how absolutely loved and adored and desirable He thinks you are? Not because of you, but because of what He has done for you.
Do we know it? Does it change us? If not, why doesn't it?
I think we are afraid of what it means for us. It means we have no more fear excuses. It means we have no reason to hide behind the fear and avoid the risk. It means we have to take our courage in our hands and walk out into the risk.
We're about that here, though. This is a space for adventure, to be reminded that we don't have to be afraid to step out into the fear.
And this is the reason why.
We are wanted by the One Who made us, and through the brutal death of His Son He had made us desirable forever.
May this change us. May this fundamentally alter our lives and the way we see ourselves. May it foundational change the ways we relate to one another. May the world be filled ever more and more by people who know who they are and Whose they are. May it make us unafraid.
Courage, my dear friends. We are wanted and wantable.
Let's live like it.