Have you ever passed a graveyard or cemetery and been somewhat overwhelmed by the number of graves there? I have. There are so many people there, many of whom died waaaay before I was born. Indeed, perhaps no one alive even remembers these random people buried there. I think I am afraid of that sort of anonymity. I’m afraid that after I have died, my mark will be gone from the world forever.
I also get overwhelmed when I think about how many people there are in the world. Ok, there are like 6 billion now, right? DUDE, how many people have there been in the WHOLE OF EXISTENCE?! Of course we can only guess that it’s been a staggering amount, like trillions upon trillions.
That leads me into almost a panic mode… How on earth could God care about ME? I am only ONE person in the whole of existence! I don’t understand. Guys, I’m gonna be honest; I have trouble remembering even the NAMES of everyone in the Life Teen program, and that is only a few hundred teens! How could the God of the Universe know EVERYTHING about me and EVERY SINGLE SOUL IN EXISTENCE?
While I was thinking about this whole idea, I ended up randomly watching one of my all time favorite movies, “The Young Victoria.” It tells the TRUE story of Queen Victoria in England in the 1900’s. She had to overcome an oppressive upbringing to lead England, which was the biggest empire at the time. It centers around her falling in love with Prince Albert who (*SPOILER ALERT IF YOU DON’T KNOW YOUR ENGLISH HISTORY*) she eventually marries. They truly are in love but she has difficulty in learning to trust him as she has been taken advantage of so greatly in the past. At the end of the movie, Prince Albert takes a bullet for his wife (and unborn baby). He nearly dies but makes it through… here is the scene of his recovery…
I don’t know if the same words jumped out to you that did for me. The line, “You are not replaceable to me!” Wow, what a theological TRUTH found there!
So often I think that because there are so many other souls in the universe, that God could forget about me if He wanted to. If I fell into too grave of sin, if I didn’t bother talking with him, if I didn’t do anything special with my life, if I became a horrible person, He could just replace me with someone else.
But then I stop and realize, I’m thinking “not as God does, but as human beings do.” -Matthew 16:23. I know that I look at myself and see one person in a trillion trillion. But God doesn’t. Saint Augustine once said, “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” My Creator God cannot create something out of LOVE and then just let me be lost in the crowd of His mind. I must stop picturing God as the father that just has the house full of kids whose names He confuses.
“You are not replaceable to me.” That is what Jesus dying on the cross MEANS. If God wanted to, he could have wiped us all out and started the human race all over again. Rather than replace us (which is our human instinct when things are tough), God empties Himself so we are made new.
My heart takes such comfort in that phrase. When I awake in the morning, I have the JOY of knowing that God has opened my eyes for that day and proclaims to my heart, “You are not replaceable to me.”