“And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Our daughter Ella has always been quite the contemplative type. Even when she was a baby, her facial expressions were an exhibition of contemplation. We were always curious about what was going through her little head.
As she has grown older, she will often share questions and thoughts that make us wonder how a young girl comes up with such ponderings?
One day, she asked my husband, “Daddy, how did I come to know my name is Ella?”
Considering the question, my husband replied, “Well… I suppose ever since you were born we held you close and said your name to you over and over. Until eventually you came to know and believe that’s who you were!”
Taking a moment to weigh the answer, she then simply responds, “Okay, thanks!”, and turned to skip away.
It struck me after this interaction, that we as children of God receive our identity in much the same way. He is our creator and Father. Through Jesus we are connected to the Father and this defines who we are: beloved children created for a Kingdom purpose.
Out of that place of identity; knowing and believing who we are; we find freedom to obey God because it’s truly a reflection of who we are. It’s simply the most consistent way of expressing our identity – a natural response to knowing who we are.
For most of us, this understanding of who we are is a journey and sometimes a struggle of hearing and beliving this truth. We often find our identity in many places other than our Father. And as a result, we respond to life in ways that aren’t consistent with who we really are.
The process of having our identity formed in us is one that can sometimes take awhile. Just like a garden takes time to grow or a piece of sea glass takes time to become smooth.
When we find ourselves struggling with our identity, the good news is that we simply need to go back to the Father to hear him speak to us again. Just like Ella, we held her close, said her name and spoke words of love and approval to her. The Father wants us to come close and speak who we are to us and tell us again of his love for us.
At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, he heard the Father speak to him in much the same way, “This is my Son, whom I love, with him I’m well pleased.” Notice it was from that important place that Jesus began his ministry and was subsequently lead out into the desert where Satan tested him in none other than his identity! “If you are the Son of God…”
One of the things we as parents try to say often to our kids is: “Remember WHO you are and WHOSE you are. You are precious. You are loved. You were made for adventure in the Kingdom of God!” The Father says the same to us today.
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
What does the Father want to speak to you today in terms of your identity? We can never hear too often WHO we are, WHOSE we are and that we are loved.