Identity Rooted in Love

By Jaime Sherman

God formed each of us for His glory. The poetry of the Psalms speaks of our self-existent, self-sufficient God weaving each of us together bit by bit in our mothers’ wombs to be unique tapestries of beauty and complexity — reflections of Him (Psalm 139:13-14). He uses the word “knitted,” which is ragam in the original Hebrew, meaning to variegate. I picture each of God’s children as separate, distinct pieces of a great big tapestry purposed to radiate His glory. 

We each have a job to play in His kingdom for the days that He ordains for us (Psalm 139:16, Isaiah 43:7). As we learned in our fall Bible study on the attributes of God, He doesn’t need us, and yet He gives us the incredible privilege of trusting Him and working for Him in the strength and wisdom He bestows upon us through His Spirit. This is love — a divine, unconditional love from a God who sees us as His precious children.

I remember the first time I sat long with Isaiah 43 open in front of me. I was a young — and broken — mama of littles. I opened God’s Word one night, gasping for a breath of hope, and I read as if for the first time, “Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you” (verse 4).

Every day of my childhood and young adult years, I heard Bible lessons on God’s love for me and felt the overflow of His love from His people to me, but in a single moment, this woman in love with words felt the affection of her Heavenly Father like never before. Tears spilled onto the page in front of me, and I felt a hope that I could get through anything past, present, or future because I was loved unconditionally by the Lover of my soul. I had nothing to fear.

But fear had long been my default because God knew everything about me. As a little girl, the thought that I could never flee from God’s presence scared me, and my obedience to His ways came from fear rather than adoration. From my perspective, an everywhere-present, completely holy God saw everything I did with disappointment and judgment. I felt stripped and vulnerable before a God with x-ray vision into my soul. In those years, I missed the story of grace that abounds all the more in the face of sin (Romans 5:20). Years later as a young mama, I finally understood — at least in part — how someone could love an erring child with unconditional love, and even more years later I came to see God’s omnipresence and omniscience as gifts.

Nothing I have done or will do changes the depth of God’s love for me. Even before I was born and walked into a life of sin, He sent His Son to the cross to die for me, and because He is immutable, He will never change His mind about His love for me. 

God is also all-powerful and guarantees my safety. He takes hold of me to protect me from outside dangers and from the ugliness lurking within my own sinful heart. He’s the shepherd laying His hand upon me, the wayward lamb (Isaiah 40:11). He corrects me, but with an unconditional love and affection that tells me I will always be safe in His care. He is my covering, sheltering me from dangers too fierce to face alone. He is the protective hedge on all sides of me, telling me anything that gets to me went first through the filter of His approval for my good and His glory (Psalm 139:5-12, Isaiah 43:2, 7). And He is my redeemer, rescuing me from a life of eternal separation from Him and giving me a new identity as His child.

Think about it: What do you struggle to believe about who God is? What do you struggle to believe about who you are in Him? Ask God to show you the depth of His divine love, knowledge, and protection of you. Ask that the truth of who He is and who you are in Him would reign in your life for your good and His glory.

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