Encouragement for Today - Dec. 21, 2007
December 21, 2007
You’re the One I Want!
By Renee Swope
1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (NIV).
Christmas was only days away and we still didn’t have a tree. Living on a college-student’s budget with a baby on the way made it hard to spend $25-50 on something we didn’t need. It seemed kind of trivial when I told God how sad I felt that we couldn’t afford a Christmas tree. Then I felt guilty knowing there were children starving in Africa and people who needed so much more than us.
Yet, God didn’t think it was selfish. Instead He provided. The Sunday before Christmas we discovered a nearby tree lot had marked all the trees down to $10!
When my husband came home from classes Monday evening we hurried to the tree lot. As we walked down each row, I looked for just the right spruce to fit in the corner of our one-bedroom apartment. For this pregnant woman, choosing a tree was almost like choosing our child’s name. I took way too much time! The sun went down quickly, they turned the spotlights off and the tree lot turned pitch dark.
My creative and very patient husband pulled our car into the rows of trees and flashed on his high beams. The bright lights dispelled the darkness and standing in front of me was the most precious little tree I’d ever seen. Although it had some droopy branches and a gap on one side I pointed and said, “That’s the one I want!”
Later that night, I sat on our couch looking at my cute little spruce pine reminiscing about our evening. I’d felt sad earlier when the darkness made it impossible to see the trees but when the beams of light illuminated the lot, my heart filled with hope. Etched in my mind was a picture I wouldn’t forget, a picture that drew me back to another time marked by darkness – a time when I wasn’t choosing, but needed to be chosen.
Just when it felt like all my dreams had died and my hope was gone, God’s Light punctured the clouds of depression surrounding my mind as His love poured into my heart. It happened on another cold winter’s eve when God looked at me and said, “That’s the one I want!”
At some point in our lives, I think most of us can identify with that little tree. Scarred by disappointments we wonder if anyone would ever choose us. With gaps that make us feel like candidates for rejection we hope no one will see the holes in our hearts. Like the fate of my little spruce, it seems the only way we’ll get chosen is if all the good ones are picked first.
First Peter 2:9 reminds us that through Christ we are chosen! God sent His Son to light our darkness and fill the gaps in our hearts. Hold onto the truth that God sees you today and in His heart He’s saying, “You’re the one I want!”
Dear Lord, that spruce pine and I have a lot in common. Even with my gaps and broken branches, You chose me and made me part of Your family through Jesus. Thank you for sending Your Son to illuminate the dark corners of my life and bring hope to my heart. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Unwrapping His Presence, a Christmas Message by Renee Swope
Visit Renee’s Blog – “The Journey of My Heart”
Shaped with Purpose Workbook and CD by Renee Swope
Try paraphrasing 1 Peter 2:9 to make it personal. You can say it or pray it out loud to remind yourself of who you really are as a child of God: I am a chosen woman, a royal priest, a holy daughter, a woman belonging to God, that I may declare the praises of him who called me out of darkness into his wonderful light.
Are there times when you feel rejected or forgotten? Tell God today about the gaps you feel in your heart. Ask Him to heal the broken places that leave you feeling unwanted and show you how He sees you – holy and dearly loved – chosen and belonging to Him!
If you have never responded to God’s invitation to be chosen and loved by Him, click here to find out how you can Know Him.
Isaiah 43:1b, "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” (NIV)
Isaiah 43:4, “Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you.” (NIV)
Isaiah 43:18-19, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” (NIV)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105