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Being God's Favorite @danacandler

I was thinking about writing to my blog in the last days and I was amazed that there came nothing, no idea or thought. I didn't know what God wanted me to share, so I waited, waited and waited. Nothing... I neither had much time, but I was confident and so peaceful. I don't want to only write something and that's it. No, I want to write what I really want to say to you, my readers, and what's on my heart. I've been very touched by A. W. Tozer's book lately: The Crucified Life, and I'm still devouring it. But what I had on my heart is one of Dana Candler's post on her blog about being God's favorite. It really spoke to me and I'm sure God will speak to you through it as well. God wanted me to share this with you, although I could've just posted it on social media, but I knew I had to write it here. The awaited answer came. So here it is:

Why We Have to Know We’re His Favorite

She looked at me with those dancing eyes, her heart at the surface. She’d just whispered her secret in my ear, safe from her siblings’ hearing. “I’m His favorite, she spilled confidence as pure as it comes. It was the first thing that had come to her mind as we were circling the table and talking about why we love Jesus.  Her Daddy had told her the secret, whispered it to her heart like it was gold to be treasured deep. And it was. And just as he’d suspected, she’d taken that morsel of brightness and drawn it close, not to forget it. Now she whispered it to me, this little glimmering treasure that she’d taken so gladly into her heart.

And in that moment I did something as her mama I’d later regret. With her heart spread wide so brilliantly confident, I smiled and then stepped in to tweak her theology just a tad. I wanted her to know she was right but also wanted her to have ground to stand on and so I embellished her secret with soundness, clarifying what I wish now I would’ve waited to set straight. I explained how we’re each His favorite for how unique we all are. Each one so distinct, so marvelously special and unlike any other.

Yet as soon as the words left my mouth, I wished I could bring them back. For with them, the flash of light drained slowly from her eyes. As though trying to swallow a pill too big for her,  she smiled weakly – sweetly – but the glimmer was gone from her eyes. And though I tried to win it back with more words, more explanations – I couldn’t. She didn’t need bigger theology, but for me to rejoice with her in a little seed of truth.
For I was my little girl once.
My little girl was on to something that I didn’t need to make mature in that moment. Her theology, though raw, was still right. Her Daddy, the forever optimist, was right to tell her. And her Mama, the realist, should’ve trusted the Lord’s lead to shape it over time. I still spill tears for my impatience to let this small seed take root before trimming away at its branches.

The preacher had quoted John the beloved’s claim as “the one Jesus loved” and beckoned me to know personally that I’m God’s favorite, as John knew it (Jn. 13:23; 21:20). And I shuffled in my seat, uncertain.

Me? His favorite? And how does this work? If you’re God’s favorite, then how can I also be?

But the Lord stepped in to convince me. I felt His gaze, singling me out and persuading me of His enjoyment over just little me. It was that He waited for my voice and my song, and how not a soul could take my place that arrested me. How could I give only a part of my heart to Him if He knows me and loves me this way? And in those days, a little seed took root that changed me forever.

Therese of Lisieux said it this way:
Just as the sun shines simultaneously on the tall cedars and on each little flower as though it were alone on the earth, so our Lord is occupied particularly with each soul as though there were no others like it.

Thus, we each have to step out of that crowd of blurred faces called the Body of Christ, let His eyes rest upon us and receive His deep love toward us individually.  We each must know we’re His favorite in order to break the cycle of comparisons and really run our race.

“Favorite-ness” can only come out of intimate knowledge. And when we begin to experience His deep knowing of us, and correspondingly, His tender love toward us, it’s a most powerful thing. It settles us and makes us free to really give everything in love.

And so I look back into the eyes of my little girl and tell her again that she’s Jesus’ favorite, unqualified and undiluted. And I’m asking the Lord to give this treasure to her heart all over again, that she might know and believe – deeply and personally – the way He loves her. Because theology is tweaked and tempered by the humility that comes with time and living it. Yet the miracle of the little mustard seed – of that confidence that we are cherished so deeply and so personally – we must guard it and care for it tenderly, till it becomes in us a mighty tree.