We have good days, and we have good fighting days. Last Monday was a good fighting day for me. Nothing in particular was wrong, just one of those days where you want to cry over anything and grumble about everything. I got home from work and dove into making dinner, slamming pots and pans, stifling back sobs as I did so. Not a “good fight,” pretty sight, or overall night. For once of course, Chad was home from work that night, instead called to the job of putting up with me. But more than put up with me, he came into the kitchen, had me put down the spatula I was flailing, and simply held me in his arms, let me cry, and reminded me that I am still his wife who he loves and chose to marry. As you can imagine, this only made me cry more. I felt pretty worthless – as a wife, as a person. It’s not the first time, and it won’t be the last time.
This article isn’t about Chad though. If you’re discontentedly single or frustrated by marriage, please don’t stop reading here! Chad’s love served me simply as an illustration of a greater love that we can all experience. We have all felt worthless, and in this day and age, there is a lot that makes us question our worth. The next morning when I sat down for my quiet time with a clearer head (as most mornings bring), I discovered a new depth of this Greater Love, Love that throws questions of my worth – our worth – out the door.
Reading through Exodus, my ESV Study Bible kindly pointed me to this reoccurrence. As Moses communes with God at the burning bush, God directs Moses to address Pharaoh as being sent by “the God of the Hebrews” (Ex. 3:18). Moses does just that in Exodus 5:3, 7:16, 9:1, 9:13, 10:3. God chose to identify himself to Pharaoh as God “of the Hebrews.” Do you think this would have impressed Pharaoh? The Hebrews were slaves, objects in his possession, essentially worthless as a people group in his eyes. In contrast, Pharaoh was considered all-powerful, sovereign, a deity. God could have identified Himself in contest to those characteristics – Creator of all things, omniscient, omnipotent, King above all kings, God of the universe. And yet, he chose to identify with those who had no worth – God of the Hebrews. He chose to identify Himself in this way again and again and again, after one display of power after another. This identification not only showed that God’s power extended even beyond the Hebrew people to affect the Egyptians, but also revealed that despite their lowly state as a slave nation, God still acknowledged the Hebrews as His chosen people. By doing this, He acknowledged His covenant with them, made long ago with Abraham; He had not forgotten them. He claims worth for those otherwise deemed worthless.
This same claim is made by God again through Jesus Christ going to death on the cross for us. A covenant is once again made and remembered with us who are essentially worthless, a nation of slaves to sin:
“For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:7-8
As Chad took me in his arms in my worthless, unlovable state, he reflected a Greater Love, who offers to speak words of desire and value over us to a greater magnitude for all eternity. I don’t get why. It’s unfathomably mysterious, this love. But this love created you and purposed you with unique abilities all your own to experience and proclaim this love. For those who feel worthless, dejected, rejected, turn to the God of the Hebrews – the God of you, of me, of the worthless – to tell you of the worth He has given you, the worth that has Him call you his own chosen one, unashamedly, unconditionally. Our worthy God is nevertheless the God of us the worthless. And in that, we have worth.