Identity is such a weighty matter. It seems like we are all searching for it, for a place where we belong, for a place where we matter. The deepest truth to the question of who we are lies in the way God feels and thinks of us.
We are His beloved.
We can achieve no greater worth in this world than to simply just be His beloved.
Yet this is the most astonishing and baffling thing to me in all the world. I am the Beloved of the Creator of the Universe. I can imagine a God whom I am called to serve. I can imagine a God I must obey. I can imagine a God I have to bow down to. But a God who loves me so? A God who calls me his own? A God whose artistry extends to creating songs to sing over me? This is an absolute paradox of an idea to me. Yet it is true.
The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17
God is mighty; He saves. But God is also a tender lover. And we are the object of His love. He doesn’t just love in a “I love you because I have to,” way. He loves with a passionate tenderness that is deeply intimate and personal. He takes great delight in us, not kind of, not just a little, but great delight. He quiets all our swarming doubts and troubles and concerns and sleeplessness with His love. And He rejoices over us with singing. Imagine that. God takes great pleasure in us. He experiences so much joy over us that it bubbles over with a song.
There is such a deep human need to find a place of belonging, a place where we deeply matter. This need is translated into so many ways, many ways that are so destructive in nature. From the time we are in preschool and are trying to form an alliance with the “cool kids” we are burdened with the need to feel like we are somebody special.
Think of all the world’s troubles, from the cultural phenomenon of celebrity gossip, to the power grabbing nature of politics, to genocide, there is a clear desire in humans to establish themselves positionally as “top dog.” What if we do have a place in the world? What if the place we have in the world that matters the most is the place in God’s very own heart?
How it would change everything if we realized and understood more in full that we are God’s very own Beloved. If we lived our lives drawing near to the God who sings over us and allow His love to etch deeply into the grooves on our hearts. It would transform us into people who were generous and humble. It would allow for our artistic liberty to be lived out in a way that would change the world as we are freed up to give instead of take. It would cause us to be generative instead of consume.
The most important part of living a life of artistic liberty is to first allow ourselves to understand that our identity is not first one of artist, wife, husband, mechanic, librarian, scientist, or anything else, but that we are the Beloved. If we would let our belovedness sink deep into our understanding of who we are, the contribution of our artistry into the world will be much more true and filled with love. So beloved, rest in God’s great love for you. Listen to His song for you and let it grow into something more and more true to you everyday.