Edward Thal /
The hype and glitter and bustle of Christmas and New Year draws many families and friends together and leaves many others feeling so lonely, alienated and discouraged that death seems like a preferable alternative. Suicides peak during this season.
The feeling that someone wants you, somebody loves you, is the richest feeling of all. Knowing that we are wanted and needed brings a sense of value and purpose.
The unhappiest people are those who do not know their worth, because nobody values them. The world is sick because people have rejected God, who values His creation. Instead of acknowledging and appreciating the One who values them, god-deniers spend their lives trying to prove their value to themselves and to each other. This is the basis of the quest for self-esteem. But self-esteem is a lie, an empty slogan: gold is not valuable because it values itself!
Atheism offers only emptiness, loneliness and the lie of self-worth. Religion on the other hand tries to address the problem by offering the seemingly heroic quest for worth, where supposedly god-focused but ultimately self-centered works and deeds have value. Mythology and religion are full of notions about unlocking the secrets of the gods: the daring hero of the pagan epic dares to climb the sky or cross the sea to bring back the hidden treasures of the divine realm. In the end, the quest itself is the prize.
But the God of the Bible puts this foolishness at an end. The wonder of the message of the Bible is the possibility of God as my intimate friend. I have great value because I am treasured by God Himself! He comes to seek me and to save me. He paid a great price for me. See the parables in Luke 15 about the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son, all redeemed by a seeker who would not quit until each was found.
It is wonderful to be wanted by God!