We each instinctively feel that we are somehow special, somehow worthy of love in a way that is unique to us. We go about trying to prove this, by breathtaking achievement, by embracing quirkiness, by celebrating our differences in ways that scream for attention, recognition, appreciation.

Our societal desire for specialness is borne of a singular truth looking for elusive fulfillment. It has its root in the ancient underpinnings of creation. Something that existed before anything else. Something older than time. Love.

Love is different each time it blossoms. The flower that you might pluck and inhale with one person will smell very different from with someone else, very different from the love that I experience in my life. If my husband dies, I will never experience love in quite the same way again.

We each believe somewhere in the core of our being that we invent love when we experience it. No one else can possibly have felt what we feel. And we are right. That’s the miracle that love bestows to fertile hearts—it’s different every single time.

The idea that each of us is special comes from this bedrock truth about love. It comes from a desire to be loved exceptionally, completely, unselfishly, in a way that satisfies every heart’s desire and leaves not a single wish unfulfilled. It comes from our desire to be loved by God.

You see, the idea that we invented love might be true from a human perspective—no other human being has felt love quite like I have—but God is love [1]. We may be the only human beings on earth who have felt “quite this way” when loving someone, but God has experienced it all. Every form of that purest, highest form of agape love—it all originated with Him.

William P. Young had it right when he wrote in The Shack the idea that God is “especially fond of this one” and applies this to every single one of His children [2]. It doesn’t make His love for us less potent. God’s special fondness of you does not make His special fondness of me more “normal” and “commonplace”. It doesn’t negate the specialness; it emphasizes it. This is an acknowledgment of the uniqueness of love—each one is special because each expression of love is different.

That’s why your love matters to Jesus. Only you can love Him in the one-of-a-kind, special way that is unique to you. That’s why only Jesus can be so completely satisfying to our human hearts—because He can fulfill the aching needs of those deepest crevices. In His boundlessness, He has infinite capability to love us each in exactly that one-of-a-kind way that we each need.

This pervasive craving for specialness in our society today is really a need for love. It can’t be satisfied by human beings. Its purest, most potent source flows from the throne of heaven, from God Himself.

“Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters;
And you who have no money come, buy and eat.
Come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without cost.
Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And delight yourself in abundance.”
(Isaiah 55:1-2)

[1] 1 John 4:8b.
[2] See William Paul Young, Wayne Jacobsen, and Brad Cummings, The Shack: A Novel (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2008).

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