I had a favorite doll, Thumbelina, and I had a favorite Grandma! There I said it! I know! We are not supposed to play “favorites” but she was my favorite. I couldn’t help it! She played with me and my favorite doll – Thumbelina ! Who wouldn’t pick her as their favorite Grandma for that reason alone! If anyone remembers the Thumbelina dolls from the 60’s, they were one of the first “soft” dolls made, the best part being a wind up “dealy bopper” that could be inserted into her back to make her body and head move. My Grandma would sit on the dirty linoleum floor with me in her old farmhouse, wind Thumbelina up, talk to her and cuddle her, making me believe she was Thumbelina’s Grandma too because she was so sweet.
Actually this got me thinking about favorites! Thumbelina was definitely my favorite all time doll! And I was certain Grandma was my favorite. But then I began to ask myself “why”? What made her my favorite? Did I love her more than the other three? Hmmm….. so many questions and I thought they all deserved answers. Which then got me thinking about one of my favorite songs called “Favorite One” by Misty Edwards with one stanza being “Jesus, here I am your favorite one”, which then led me to thinking about a t-shirt my husband has which says “Jesus loves you…but I’m His favorite one.” Who would have thought a memory of one doll and Grandma could stir up so many questions?
If you really want to set off the ire of Christian people talk about being God’s favorite one. Yikes! People can get really bent out of shape when there is even a hint that God has favorites. I think it a bit amusing (odd humor perhaps) that people get upset about such an innocent word. After all I never said God doesn’t love all of us. I am just saying “I’m His favorite”! Oh! By the way – I never said Jesus said it (though He does come close)– I am a self-proclaimed favorite one! And you can be too!
A little bit about Grandma – She was only sixty years old when she died within five months of an unexpected diagnosis of cancer when I was thirteen. She breathed her last on earth and entered glory the same day I publicly confirmed my faith in Jesus Christ at Church. I have the Bible she and Grandpa gave me for confirmation, perhaps the last writing she did two weeks before she died. I imagine my grandparents sitting on their bed writing to me as my Grandpa dated and wrote “Dear Julie, I am writing this on a spring evening before your confirmation.” He wrote a lengthy beautiful letter filled with wisdom and encouragement for me to stay faithful to Jesus and His Word no matter what my friends said or did to draw me away. My Grandma simply wrote “Love and God bless you Julie. Grandma Evelyn”. Clearly by those few words you can tell I was her favorite one, right? Haha!
But you see that is actually the “favorite one” discovery! It was “how” Grandma made me feel! The favoritism had nothing to do with anyone else except the two of us and the intimacy we shared. It was not just in the words she said but it was innate in our “relationship”. She loved all her grandchildren and I am guessing we all felt like her favorite ones, if we wanted to. Because I experienced and received her special care and devotion, I knew I was loved and highly favored, as were my cousins. Can you see God like that? He makes each one of us feel like we are His favorite one. Do not worry! All His children can feel special and highly favored if we want to by allowing Him to love on us. It feels great!
This is how I see it! Thumbelina was my favorite doll and I was her favorite owner. I’m sure of it! She made me feel needed and special every day we were together! She did not need to use words because I “knew” and felt it. Dolls can do that you know! Grandma was my favorite grandparent and I was her favorite grandchild. I’m sure of it! She made me feel needed and special every time we were together. She did not even need to use words, though she did, but I always knew and felt her love by the way she looked, played, held, and talked to me. And God? He far surpasses Thumbelina and Grandma!
An interesting thing happened though as I began to reflect on my other grandparents. I discovered they were my favorites as well. I cannot help but smile as I remember conversations, read the words they wrote to me, and recall frozen moments in time; Hay rides, devotions, and listening to Grandpa play his harmonica; baking cookies and drinking coffee made in the glass percolator with the other Grandma while sitting on Grandpa’s lap sneaking sugar cubes with him. These memories paint a broad and lively picture of my past causing me to thank God for grandparents who invested into me and my future. They are my favorites!
Of course if I choose, I can also remember the bad things, unpleasant words that were spoken, mean things done to me. But why remember and dwell on the things we should forget when we have the privilege of remembering the things we should? Relationships are precious, why waste them? The more I ponder, the more I remember great things about my childhood, toys, and grandparents. And the more I ponder my love relationship with God, I discover being God’s favorite one is far better than Thumbelina and Grandma – though I will admit getting a taste of heaven on earth by receiving love from others is incredible as well.
The word “favorite” is not used in the Bible. But God uses a couple of my “favorite” words to tell me (and you) how highly favored we are. He uses words like “peculiar”, “special” and “treasure” to describe who we are in His eyes! I got pretty excited when I looked these words up in their original meaning and then apply them in context because they imply an even stronger attachment than favorite one. “Favorite” means preferred, much loved, beloved, desired, and most wanted. The words “peculiar”, “special”, and “treasure” tell us we are unusual, unique, and that we have a distinct identity in God. He declares we belong exclusively to Him, and we are His private treasure and possession. Read these Scripture verses and then let them soak into your spirit!
Exodus 19:5 “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.”
Deuteronomy 14:2 “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”
Titus 2:14 “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
My hope is that if you absorbed these truths you are now saying “I AM His favorite one!”
We see God’s intense love for us again in Isaiah 43:1, 4 where He is speaking to the people of Israel. However, since we are grafted in by His grace and love, these words are for us as well. “But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by your name. You are Mine. Since you were precious in My sight, You have been honored, And I have loved you; Therefore I will give men for you, And people for your life. Everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.”
There it is folks! The secret to being His favorite! Can you see it? Perceive it? I am God’s favorite one – You are God’s favorite one – and we are His favorite ones! Why? Because He created us! He formed us! He redeemed us! He has called us by our names! We are His! We are precious in His sight! We are honored! He loves us! We are called by His name! We are created for His glory! He has made us!
Whew! It really is all about Jesus! We do not have to be afraid or ashamed to say we are His favorites because He already said it! Many Christians only think of themselves as part of a group; the Body of Christ, the people of God, the saints, the fellowship of believers. This is true! We are! But if we only identify corporately with God, we limit our reception of intimacy which is our privilege as a child of God. In essence, we successfully avoid the “one on one” with God, which might very well be the reason people get so upset when faced with the idea of “favoritism”. They do not want or believe we are to be “that” personal with God, therefore since they aren’t, they don’t want others to be either. Embracing God individually and corporately gives the fullness of favoritism! Truth is – God desires ALL to be saved and come to the knowledge of Truth! We can ALL be His favorites!
I hope at the very least this has caused you to do a little reminiscing about your childhood, grandparents and other favorite people or toys in your life. But at the most I truly hope and expect you smiled a few times as you “remember”. I trust you “forgot” some things that needed to be let go of. And I pray you received the most brilliant revelation of being God’s favorite one.
And from this day on, I pray you will take the time to bask in His love and receive His attention! I love the memory of sitting with Grandma and playing with Thumbelina, feeling like I was her favorite, and knowing she was mine! But how much more I love sitting with God every day, feeling and knowing I am His favorite one! I hope you know you are too!