The beloved children of God

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A song reverberated in my mind while I pushed my reluctant body on a morning run, and as I worshipped and ran (slowly), I reflected on one line of that famous song “Amazing Grace”.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me…

“Wretch” made me pause.  ‘Wait a minute…’ I thought, ‘this isn’t how God sees his children!’

Before we know God, before we understand the immense grace that is ours, we might see ourselves as ‘wretched’ and ‘lost’. Maybe we were hopelessly stuck in addiction, or strung out on hate, or any number of awful places. Even after coming to know God, and surrendering to Love, we might have a ‘bad week’ where we are stumbling and struggling and so at church on Sunday we sing this line fervently and wholeheartedly. ‘Yes, Lord, I’m such a wretch, please save me again… ‘

But God….

God does not see us that way.

When God looks upon us, He sees us as children, as beautiful spirits that have come from His Spirit, from inside His heart, the heart of Love itself. Scripture tells us that he thought of us before the creation of the world!

Before we come to him, we might live in selfish and self-righteous ways because we don’t know the way of Love.          {How can we?}

But he whispers to us, “Child… come see. Come and meet me. I am Love. You simply have not been filled up with Love. Come to me and I will show you. I want to show you what true Love is all about.”

I don’t believe that God sees us as wretched before we come to Him. And I sort of wonder how those who have not yet met Jesus personally might perceive that line. How might it influence their picture of God? Would they want to run to a God who in that point of view sees them as wretched and needy and heartless? Or would they rather run to a God who is, like the father of the prodigal, inviting them towards himself with heart and arms wide open?

We are God’s beloved children. He sees our amazing potential. He sees our hearts; he knows us inside and out. He longs to teach us the way of Love.  We might see ourselves as wretched or others may have told us that is what we are. We might feel wretched when we mess up, when we are not following the way of love. And perhaps this is what the author of that famous hymn meant as well.

Just know that God’s view is so different from ours. Know that you are a precious child of God. Even if you do not yet know God (Love), know that He thought of you before the world began. You are a beautiful piece of His heart, walking around in an earthly body, and He longs to be in a relationship with you – spirit to spirit, heart to heart.

You are a precious, beloved child of God. Always. Even before you say ‘yes’ to Love.