This last weekend I participated in a funeral for a young adult. Death is difficult no matter what the circumstances, but it is even more difficult, when it involved suicide. My heart was grieved of the loss of a young life. If there was one message I wish I could have communicated with this young person (and I know that I would be in a long line with many others) “You are special!”
It is the truth. Now I know that we can say this to those in our lives and mean it because we can see something that they cannot. But we often fail to grasp what I suspect of many of those that have taken their own life. They have determined that death is a better option than the pain of living. The well-meant words, “You are special” are limited in their ability to provide relief. But it does not negate the truth that they are special. They are special not only to those around them but also to God.
This past Sunday as we focused on another aspect of salvation, “adoption.” I was reminded of how special we are to God. First, all people are special to God. This is a truth that is often overlooked by those professing to be followers of Jesus. It is often revealed in the way that we look down on others different from us. But I am reminded of the Apostle Paul’s response to the intellectual in Athens, “for in him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ Being then God’s offspring,…” (Acts 17:28–29) This simple statement reminds us of the first reason why every human being is special. We are made in the image of God! “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27) The scrubbing of the Biblical account of creation has robbed us of the great truth that each of us is special because we are created in God’s image. And we have God’s general blessing upon us, “And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”” (Genesis 1:28) So, first off you are special because God created you.
But there is a second reason why you are special. “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32) God paid the greatest price that could ever be rendered so that He could have a relationship with you. This is the life changing truth of Christianity. All of humanity revolves around God and reveals how special you are. “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” (Galatians 4:4–5)
I know that living as broken people in a broken world can be overwhelming. But remember that you have a least two truths in your corner, first, God made you special and He loves you. Second, He did what it takes to restore His relationship with you, but you need to let Him into your life. Yes, you are special, because of parents, grandparents, siblings and friends that love you. But you are special because God made you and desires a relationship with you through Jesus!
Let me encourage you to first grasp the significance of this truth in your life first. Then let me encourage you to share this with everyone you can. You never know the battles that they are fighting within.
-Pastor Joe Parkinson