My 7th graders got into one of their very middle-schoolish debates the other day … “Who is Mrs. A’s favorite?” It grew to a brew-ha-ha about which of them was the most well-behaved, cleverest, funniest, etc., etc., and thus, certainly, the favorite of ALL of the teachers.

Falling asleep that night, it occurred to me that at least I could tell them that none had to worry about whether or not they were God’s favorite, because He doesn’t play favorites either.  But …

Then, I heard that “voice” that’s about to tell me “not so fast”.

“Tell them that they ARE my favorite.  Each of them … look them in the eyes and say, ‘You are God’s favorite’.  You too … look in the mirror and say … ‘I am God’s favorite’.”

Hope no theologians read this, because I don’t have it in me to get into doctrinal tussles …

But …

Cannot every child of God, who understands and has accepted His merciful gift through Jesus, claim that we are His favorite?

Of all of Creation, it us … humans … humanity … that Christ died for in order to set each of us free from the snares of sin. His favor is on us … on me … on others.

The Bible, which defines God as LOVE, makes it clear that His ways are different than ours.  He is boundless. Immense. Greater in every way.  Why wouldn’t He have enough love to favor each of us without hesitation? Without reserve?

I followed through on this wild idea and did tell each of my students the next day that they are God’s favorite.  I looked into each of their eyes and softly said the words.

I cannot remember when I’ve ever had their attention to such a solemn, eager degree.  Their eyes were interesting to read … curiosity … amazement … softness … embarrassment … expressions that seemed to asked, “Really”.

The most interesting expression was a mix of relief and confusion.  “What?  I didn’t have to compete for that? You mean, I can be God’s favorite and so can my friend?  Is God’s love really that big?”

Yes … the love of God is immense.  There is no end to His favor for those who are His own.

I needed this reminder this week. I wrestled in my last post with shaken faith, seeking to understand why so many young families around us have suddenly and tragically lost their dads or moms.

As I read verse after verse depicting the love of our Heavenly Father, Creator, and Redeemer, I’m forced to reconsider that He is big enough for what seems senseless to me. Won’t His favor carry those who are devastated? Can’t the intensity of His love finish our stories in a way that leaves us speechless one day when we see how our pain has been woven into a stunning tapestry of hope and fulfillment?

We should walk around saying to ourselves and one another … “Highly favored of God.”  In fact, I taught with a woman in Christian education who did that very thing.  “Children of the Most High God,” she would address the kids again and again.  I remember a high schooler whining at her once, “Why do you always say that?”

“Because you need to be reminded every single day of exactly who you are AND who the person sitting next to you is. Are you acting as someone who belongs to the God of ALL OF THE UNIVERSE.”  She emphasized each of the last words, but she wasn’t done.  “AND, are you carefully aware that the person sitting next to you belongs to Him as well? How you treat her … treat him … is how you are treating God.”

Boy did it get silent in that room.

And it grows quiet in my heart as I sign off to reflect on God’s bottomless love.  This I know though …

I am His favorite.

So are you.

Started really listening to this song this week … powerful words … perfect timing in light of my recent wrestles. 

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