“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit — fruit that will last — and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” John 15:16 (NIV)
Some days I live as if I’m still waiting for someone to choose me for something that will change my life and heal the ache in me to feel special and significant. I feel overlooked and rejected in large ways, like when other women receive promotions or awards, or in small ways, like when friends socialize without me.
Why do I still long to feel chosen by certain people? And why am I still waiting to feel chosen for some special calling that would make life more meaningful?
I asked God these questions as I walked around my snowy Pennsylvania neighborhood. My heart felt as cold and barren as the landscape around me. Even after finding a husband, having a career, and enjoying a relationship with Jesus for decades, I still lived like a rejected woman in so many ways. I often felt ignored and overlooked. I often felt confused about my calling. I often felt empty, like I was missing the abundant life God promises us.
Could Jesus heal this pain in me?
The words of Jesus flooded my soul as I remembered John 15:16. He says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit — fruit that will last — and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” As a college writing instructor and lover of vivid verbs, I couldn’t stop thinking of those two actions of Jesus: He chose and appointed.
First, He chose us.
This personal chosen status means we enjoy the most intimate, privileged and joyful relationship with the One our hearts have been longing for all this time. This union with Jesus became possible because He rescued us from sin by dying for us. The infinite price Jesus paid made me realize how precious I am to Him, and He became even more marvelous to me as I pictured Him reaching down His hand to choose me.
I understood that no other kind of “chosen” could satisfy the need we have for Jesus — no prize, relationship, promotion or new circumstance. After all, the Bible tells us all things were made by Jesus and for Him. (Colossians 1:16) We’re made for Jesus. That’s why we exist. When we live as women chosen for Christ, we live in the security and clarity of who we truly are.
Secondly, Jesus appointed us to go and bear fruit.
What is this fruit our lives will bear? We know this with certainty: Jesus calls us to follow Him, and He will send us out to fish for people. (Matthew 4:19) Chosen women understand their calling; they are Christ’s ambassadors to those who do not yet know Jesus. (2 Corinthians 5:20)
What higher calling can we imagine for ourselves than participating in the greatest thing happening in the world today — that people are coming to know Jesus?
The snow fell around me, and for once, I stopped thinking of all the ways I’d been rejected. I stopped wondering about what would make my life matter. Instead, I knew I was chosen. And chosen women live appointed lives.
As I walked past the homes of neighbors who haven’t yet met Jesus, I thanked God for sending me out to fish for people who needed to know about this God who chooses us.
Lord, whenever I feel rejected, help me realize You chose me. Thank You for the price You paid to bring me to You. Help me understand the great purpose You have given me today to help others know Jesus. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.