A little boy walked to the side of the playground, shoulders slumped and face cast down; feeling unwanted, disregarded, and invisible. You see the kids from his class had just picked teams for a game, and again, he was not chosen.
Feeling invisible or unchosen is not restricted to children’s play yards. A friend of mine, a very intelligent woman with a high ranking position, told me how she at times feels invisible, at work, sometimes at home and even at times in her church community.
She relayed a humorous analogy from her work place. In a rest room there are three sinks with automated sensors, so as one puts their hands near the sensor the water turns on. One of the sensors is temperamental, sometimes it works and sometimes not. You put your hands there for water; you wait and get nothing. You feel invisible, not even weighty enough to trigger a sensor.
Maybe you feel invisible. You may be within a group, yet are overlooked, not regarded and “unchosen.”
Relocate Your Value Source
When I am feeling overlooked, disregarded and not chosen I withdraw. I respond this way to protect myself, however my response does not help me. The truth is I need to relocate the source of value. I am looking in the wrong place for my identity, value and approval.
We are social beings, created for relationship and community. That is true, and we do indeed build into one another. However, I am learning that my basic value and identity is not determined by other people’s response to me or approval of me, but rather I need to go to my Creator for value and purpose.
There are truths in God’s word that can lift up our countenance and help us live loved and with a sense of true value. God knows us, sees us and has chosen us.
God is the God who sees. Hagar, the handmaid of Sarah, calls God by the name EL Roi which means “the God who sees,” Genesis 16:13.
Hagar has been cast out into the desert with her young son. Alone! Surely she is feeling despair and fear, maybe even invisible. But she was not invisible to God. He was aware of her situation; he saw her and delivered her, so as a result she calls him, El Roi, the God who sees.
God’s character is that he is ever alert to us. We are ever the center of his vision and awareness.
In fact God has intimate knowledge of us. God knows the very number of hairs on my head, Luke 12:7. God knows every tear you have cried: “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Ps. 56:8
God knows when I sit and when I stand. He discerns my thoughts before I think them. He knows a word that is on my tongue before I even speak it.
- “You know when I sit and when I rise;you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you. Lord, Lord, know it completely.” Psalm 139:4-5
While I do not understand God having such knowledge of me, I feel secure in it.
Visible and Chosen
God sees us and deliberately chooses to draw us near to him.
At times in my life I have felt “unchosen,” and I have been “unchosen.” The most confusing thing is when you are not chosen by those from whom it is natural to expect being chosen.
There are many ways we expect to be chosen or included but are not. There is no need to list them here, I am sure you have experienced a few of these stinging disappointments in your life. The truth is – you are chosen by God.
Being chosen by God is not a consolation prize. It is a truth that grounds us and directs our life. It is from his choosing us that we begin to know our true value.
The word chosen in the scriptures, both Old and New Testament references means: to be selected; to be loved; to be valued; to be delighted in; to be preferred or wanted.
Read some of these passages and let the truth speak to you about how deeply and intentionally God values us. God is telling us we matter to him. He welcomes and desires us. He wants to include us in his presence.
- For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life you inherited from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or spot. 1 Peter 1:18-19
- Long ago, even before he made the world, God chose us to be his very own through what Christ would do for us; he decided then to make us holy in his eyes, without a single fault—we who stand before him covered with his love. His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by sending Jesus Christ to die for us. And he did this because he wanted to! Ephesians 1:4-5 (TLB)
- But we must always thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God has chosen you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 2 Thess. 2:13
- But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9 (We are God’s beloved and are treasured by God.)
- Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Col. 312
- Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? … No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35,37-39 (NLT)
We could fill pages and pages with truths from God’s Word that describe God’s love and valuing of us. However, these truths about God have little power to change our thoughts, feelings and understandings about ourselves if we do not believe them.
I encourage you to read these passages again and insert your name in them, turn the third person pronouns into first person ones. Make these verses personal to you and God, because that is how he intends them.
Let these truths change your thinking about who you are, and your value. The next time you feel invisible – think about these truths.
“And so we know and rely (depend) on the love God has for us. God is love…”
1 John 4:16a Live in His love!