This year in June, I had the privilege to travel with Saul Alonzo, SDB pastor in the Washington, DC, area, to visit Christian brothers and sisters in Quito, Ecuador. The believers there have allied for the last several years to translate SDB Helping Hand materials from English into Spanish for their congregations in Ecuador. They publish the materials locally and export them to other Spanishspeaking SDB groups including some in the USA.
The congregation in Quito was excited to have us and treated us like honored guests — caring for us, sharing with us, and giving us an opportunity to share some about our ministries and what is happening with SDB groups around the world.
At one of our meals with some of the leadership, the conversation drifted to travel and they were curious as to where was my favorite place to visit in my ministry travels. As I began to explain that many of the locations have many positive attributes and were special in their own way, it reminded me of something one of the ladies in the Hopkinton SDB congregation in Ashaway shared with me. She recounted an experience where she was at a funeral of a relative and a pair of her young adult nephews came up to her. She hugged them and kissed them as she admired their sharp suits, and she told them that they were her favorites. They shrugged off the compliments with smiles and went and took their seats nearby. Soon after, two younger nephews approached her and she repeated the process including telling them that they were her “favorites.” Immediately one of the older nephews piped in, “Oh Aunt Susie, everyone is your favorite!” To that she responded, “Well, of course! All of you are my favorites!”
It seemed ridiculous to the boys that their aunt would use “favorite” to identify each of them. However, she did not have a more concise way to express the feelings that she had about how she valued each of them in ways that made them uniquely prized and special to her. When she related that story to me, it made me think of how we must be to God. He has made each of us special and unique. Each of us is so designed not just physically, but through our experiences, our minds, and hearts, that we are each in our own category of persons. God does not respect men due to arbitrary things like height or intelligence. No matter who we are, He made the ultimate sacrifice to give opportunity to redeem us from the penalty of our sins and adopt us into His family. Each of us is His favorite. You are His favorite you. I am His favorite me. When I consider that He loves us each so specially, I feel that I can just begin to understand what must be the heartache He experiences when we reject Him or go astray, injuring ourselves and damaging our relationship with Him.
When I look at myself from that perspective and the world around me, I am nudged in the direction of loving myself and others as God does. Please, pray with me that we can all respond to that love and treat each other as favorites of the Lord Most High, the Great I Am, the Ruler of the Universe…as favorites of God.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. – Psalm 139:14
By Clint Brown – Executive Director For this and other Sabbath Recorder Articles click – HERE