8 But you, Israel my servant,
Jacob, whom I have chosen,
offspring of Abraham, whom I love,
9 you whom I took from the ends of the earth
and called from its farthest corners,
saying to you, “You are my servant;
I chose you and didn’t reject you”:
10 Don’t fear, because I am with you;
don’t be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
I will surely help you;
I will hold you
with my righteous strong hand.
All of us need reassurance sometimes. We need to be reminded that we are competent, that we are capable, that we are valuable and that we are loved. This is especially important on hard days. Sometimes that reassurance comes through a hug, or through a card or a conversation with family or friends. Hearing the words “I love you” is important – as is hearing other nice things, especially when we don’t feel particularly good about ourselves.
God knows this about us. When we read passages like this, it’s God reassuring the people of Israel through the prophet that they are treasured and beloved, chosen from among all the people of the world to be God’s special possession. In short what God is saying is: “you matter.”
Can you read these words not as an ancient message to an ancient people, but from God to you, right here, today? Do you believe that you matter to God? Because you do. God has not forgotten you. The One who made you has not rejected you. God has loved you, called you and chosen you. And God is with you – to quell your fears, to strengthen you, and to hold you up.
All of us need to hear this sometimes. Today, take the time to hear it for yourself.
By Joe Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer
Who do you know who needs to hear a message of reassurance today?
Prayer: God, when our courage fails and we feel weak, speak words of hope and love over us until we rise again. Never let us forget that we are your beloved. And help us to share that truth freely so others might find reassurance that you are always right there, holding us up. Amen.