I was in the audience at a concert one night amazed by the size of the arena, the volume of the cheers and applause, and the excitement of being in this moment. At one point all eyes went to a ten year old little girl who was acknowledged by the singer and given the happy birthday wish of a lifetime.
As I sat there and thought about how exciting it must have been for that little girl to get the attention thousands others craved from this star, my mind wandered away from the concert.
I imagined Jesus standing up on that stage. I imagined the whole crowd fading away as He points his finger straight up to me. Little ol’ insignificant me, sitting in row 116, section R, seat 24. And then He speaks straight to me, “I love you Lysa and I have chosen you. Can we spend some time talking about this?”
I smiled. Then the reality of the concert brought real life crashing back. To the rock star the person sitting in row 116, section R, seat 24 is just another face in the crowd.
But to Jesus there is no such thing as just another face in the crowd. Somehow to God, we are all unique souls who He desires to call out, recognize and invite into a more intimate setting.
Unlike a human pop star, Jesus can give this kind of individual attention without excluding others. Every single person in the crowd could have their own individual encounter with Him. The only requirements are the desire to experience Him and the belief that it is possible. Sadly, very few people have either of these.
I know. I used to have the kind of relationship with God where I viewed Him as The One who makes sweeping glances over thousands of people per minute just to make sure no one was getting out of line. But the possibility to have God pause in the midst of everyday life to spend a little time with just me wasn’t in my scope of possibilities at all.
It almost seems a bit presumptuous to think God would want to notice me, choose me, call on me, and converse with me- doesn’t it?
Maybe the answer to this question is yes in human terms but not in Biblical terms.
In human terms the word “chosen,” sends my mind reeling back to playground kickball days. These were not some of my finer childhood memories.
“Chosen” was not at all a word I would have used to describe myself.
So, when I first heard that word in relation to God’s feelings toward me, I couldn’t process it. In human terms it did seem quite presumptuous to think that God would pause to pay attention to me. My earthly Daddy never did that. My kickball team mates certainly didn’t do that. It seemed quite upside down to think that a girl the world ignored and passed over would actually be handpicked, on purpose, by God.
The Bible is full of reassurances that this is exactly the way God wants us to process life.
Colossians 3: 12 says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Psalm 25:12 says, “Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD ? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.”
And John 15:19 says, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.”
I am a chosen person, with a chosen way, who has been handpicked by God on purpose to live a chosen life set apart in this world. But please don’t mistake this as an exclusive country club type membership. No, this is the truth that every person can stand on no matter their race, background, or their past. If you proclaim Jesus Christ, son of God, as your Lord and Savior, this is your chosen reality.
The problem is we have been trained to process life based on the way we feel. We think we must feel love for love to exist. We think we must feel wanted for it to be true that we are chosen. We think we must feel God’s presence for Him to really be close. But God never meant for us to feel our way to Him.
God wants us to stand on the absolute truth that He is with us no matter how our feelings may try and betray that reality. When I process life through my feelings I am left deceived and disillusioned. When I process life through God’s truth I am divinely comforted by His love and made confident in His calling on my life.
So, back to that concert when Jesus gave me the visual of Him calling out to me- choosing me, I learned something profound that night.
God made each of us with a vulnerable place inside our souls to be wanted, loved, and chosen above all others. I think that’s what ultimately drives people on both sides of an arena filled stage. The one on the stage is looking to have this vulnerable placed filled by the screaming crowd. The screaming crowd somehow thinks this famous person has it all figured out so if they can just get close maybe some of that fulfillment will rub off on them.
All the while Jesus stands off to the side and wonders if anyone realizes He’s the One our souls long for… not the fame… not the attention of the famous… and not the millions of other things we’ll spend our lives thinking we must have.
The answer to our deepest desires is not the seemingly perfect life… not the most romantic husband…not the smartest and most well behaved kids… not the bigger house… not the better job… not the awards and recognition of man and not in trying to feel our way to God.
It’s making the choice to recognize that God is close. Whether we’re at a concert, on a playground in the middle of a sorry kickball game, or sitting in a chair in our den- God is there. Loving. Assuring. Teaching. Calling. Choosing to spend time with us.
Becoming more than a good Bible Study Girl means never settling for needing to feel our way to God or to simply limit our experience of Him to those few minutes we call our quiet time.
It’s being able to sit in the noise of the arena of life with every worldly distraction imaginable bombarding you and suddenly thinking of Him– talking with Him- smiling with Him- and realizing every longing I’ve ever had in life to be more than just the girl in row 116, section R, seat 24 is already filled. By Him. The One who sees me as chosen.