I still remember how proudly my grandma would show me off to her friends whenever we’d come for a visit. She would spin me around to the admiring audience, and say something like, “Look at all those blonde curls … just like her daddy’s.” Of course, my daddy was her little boy all grown up, and Grandma was pleased as punch that I had his blue eyes and platinum blonde hair.
I have pondered why this experience always made me feel good. Of course, I admired my father. In fact, I loved him dearly. I looked like my father some would say, and that signified that I was his girl. I later grew to understand that these encounters provided a sense of belonging, an identity. With an unusual family name, we seemed some way peculiar, or set apart, but that also contributed to a distinguishing identity.
So who was this little girl with the blonde curls and unusual surname? As I matured, I had many questions about who “she” was, and whether her life bore any significance. I had confidence in my parents’ love, and as an added blessing, they instilled in me a hopeful, yet naïve belief, that I was capable of doing anything I put my mind to. That was all positive nurturing stuff. But, I needed more than that. Life doesn’t pour out continual blessings, and in times of discouragement and loss, I needed more to help me navigate through the tumult. Knowledge that I belonged to my family was not enough.
My mom faithfully taught me from Scripture about our loving Creator God. So why did He create humans anyway? Was He lonely, or did He have unfulfilled needs? It always seemed logical to believe God didn’t require anyone to satisfy His existence. After all, how could an infinite omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God need anything? When he completed making the world in all of its splendor, “… God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!” Genesis 1:31 (NLT). He didn’t need people to keep him content. No, to the contrary. God is creative by nature and love in substance. “…let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God … But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love,” 1 John 4: 7-8 (NLT). So, he created us by His love so that we could also love.
I was astonished to learn that God chose to create human life IN HIS IMAGE. Realizing I have significance because the Creator of the Universe made me in His image is a grounding discovery, an “aha moment” of truth. I can have an eternal purpose in a relationship with this loving God. He even made sure my relationship would never be cut off by my own rebellion, “sin,” incompatible with His perfection. Revealing Himself to us through His Son Jesus – Immanuel, “God with us,” God invites us to accept His forgiveness when we have wandered off to have our own way. We are offered the gift of this priceless relationship when we come, ready to step into an identity with our Abba Father. We will be a “peculiar people,” set apart from the culture in a distinguishing way. We should then bear God’s image of love, and shine His light into the darkness.
Imagine the importance each human life holds! “Love,” Himself, made you in His image! Human life is set apart – God did not breathe His spirit into the rest of creation. Go celebrate your sacred identity and live confidently as a child of God, the One true God. This is significance.