Yesterday I was in the sanctuary with a large group of kids from our church’s day school. I asked them if they knew what they wanted to be when they grew up. “Oh, I do! I do!” they yelled.
I want to be a firefighter!
I want to be in the US Army!
I’m going to be an animal doctor!
They were so stinking cute. And so excited! Imagine 80 preschoolers all shouting at the top of their lungs, with their little hands madly waving in the air, and you get a picture of the energy level in the room.
Then one little boy’s voice, somewhere off to my left, yelled this:
“When I grow up, I want to be AWESOME!!”
My first thought was: “Wow, kid, you’re already there!” My second was that I needed to find out who had yelled it, because I should slip him a $20 for providing such a perfect segue for my message that morning.
Later, though, as I laughingly shared the story, I wondered how it is that we lose that optimism as we get older. Because it seems that at least once every week I have someone in my office who is struggling with self-worth.
I just didn’t see my life going this way.
I don’t like who I am.
I’m not very smart, and I know it.
Everyone else is so successful, and I’ve got nothing.
I’m such a loser.
Have you ever felt less than “awesome” in your life?
“I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow — not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below — indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
God loves you. Not because God isn’t aware of how you’ve screwed up, how you’ve failed, how you’ve completely fallen on your face. Not because God doesn’t know about the mistakes — both big and small — that you’ve made.
God knows all of this.
And God loves you.
End of sentence.
Because you are awesome.
How sure do you feel right now about God’s love for you?