So what makes you so…*special*? Why would you consider yourself a unique snowflake and a one-of-a-kind person?
Well, maybe the fact that you're a human being? Um, yeah. One of 6,589,797,800 other human beings, to be exact. Wow, that's really special.
Or perhaps because of some talent you have? Get in line folks, because there's always someone better than you – and even if you are the best, you only keep that status until your records are broken and your trophies are rusted away.
What about good looks? Gone before you know it. Brains? Nope. Just like talent, there's always someone smarter than you as well.
When you think about it, there really isn't much in and of yourself that makes you special, unique, or extraordinary. From one perspective we're all just big bags of mostly water who came about as an end result of kabillion trillion uberillion years of mutation and chance. But wait – there's more! When you consider the sheer size of the known universe, the space you occupy and the place you mark in this world is roughly the size of an insignificant ant somewhere in the middle of the Sahara desert.
Not really. That's why I don't try and quench my thirst for uniqueness from the empty well of a theory that credits our existence to undesigned design. In other words, if you are trying to figure out your dignity, worth, value, and self-esteem from a formula that leaves God out of the equation, it will not add up. Period.
What does add up is the amount of truth in the Bible that addresses the issue of "what makes you so…*special*" in straight up and satisfying ways. From the first chapter in Genesis to the last chapter in Revelation, a case is made by the Creator Himself for your absolute and mind-boggling uniqueness. Let's take a look.
In Genesis 1:27, we read an incredible statement:
So God created human beings in His own image. In the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.
You and I are made in the very image of God. Sort of like a coin, we have the glory of God imprinted on our very souls. This is not a "divine spark" … rather a "divine stamp" that elevates us above our furry friends and makes each of us extraordinary. Sure, there are over 6 billion of us … but does that make us any less valuable? Absolutely not. If you discovered 6 billion diamonds, would you consider them less valuable because there were so many? No…in fact, the value would be multiplied!
And the really amazing part is the way God made us. Picture the scene in the Garden of Eden as Jesus knelt down in the mud and used his hands to craft, carve, mold and make a sculpture of the soon-to-be first man, Adam. He then put his mouth onto the nose of the make-shift man and "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life."
So maybe you're thinking, "Yeah, that was neat for Adam…but as it turns out, I'm not Adam. I'm not a handcrafted work of art by the hand of God…"
Really? Are you sure? Because thousands of years later a King named David wrote this to God:
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. (Psalm 139:13-15)
The picture here is Jesus skillfully crafting the body, mind and soul of each and every human being in his/her mother's womb. That's why he felt so amazing and unique … that's why he could declare to God and everyone else that His "workmanship is marvelous!" Not because of looks, brains, and talent, but because He was personally designed by the Designer of the entire universe.
What design? Well, the total length of your circulatory system stretches an amazing 60,000 miles. That is more than twice the distance around the Earth.
In one square inch of skin there are four yards of nerve fibers, 600 pain sensors, 1300 nerve cells, 9000 nerve endings, 36 heat sensors, 75 pressure sensors, 100 sweat glands, 3 million cells, and 3 yards of blood vessels.
Except for your brain cells, 50,000,000 of the cells in your body will have died and been replaced with others, all while you have been reading this sentence.
Your heart beats about 100,000 times in one day and about 40,000,000 times a year. In one hour the heart works hard enough to produce enough energy to raise almost one ton of weight one yard from the ground.
But that's just your body. You also have a mind that is picturing a pink elephant right now because I just wrote "pink elephant." You have thoughts and feelings and dreams that are totally unique to you.
And if all I mentioned doesn't help you see why you are special, I've saved the best part for last:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
You are so amazingly valued that the God of the universe chose to die for you than live without you.
So the next time your self-esteem is a bit shaken because you're getting some strange ideas about where we came from – (in, I don't know, maybe biology class?) – just smile and nod as you thank the God who made you, died for you, and wants the best for you.
Now that is *special*!
Lane Palmer is the Youth Ministries Specialist for Dare 2 Share Ministries in Arvada, Colo., where he works with to provide resources for youth leaders and students. Dare 2 Share exists to energize and equip teens to know, live, share and own their faith in Jesus. For more information on Dare 2 Share Ministries or the GameDay youth conference tour, please visit www.dare2share.org. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.