Robert Todd Lincoln lived under the extensive shadow of his father, beloved American president Abraham Lincoln. Long after his father’s death, Robert’s identity was engulfed by his father’s overwhelming presence. Lincoln’s close friend, Nicholas Murray Butler, wrote that Robert often said, “No one wanted me for secretary of war; they wanted Abraham Lincoln’s son. No one wanted me for minister to England; they wanted Abraham Lincoln’s son. No one wanted me for president of the Pullman Company; they wanted Abraham Lincoln’s son.”
Such frustration isn’t limited to the children of the famous. We all are familiar with the feeling of not being valued for who we are. Yet nowhere is the depth of our value more evident than in the way God loves us.
The apostle Paul recognized us for who we were in our sins, and for who we become in Christ. He wrote, “At just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6). God loves us because of who we are—even at our worst! Paul wrote, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (v. 8). God values us so much that He allowed His Son to go to the cross on our behalf.
Who are we? We’re God’s beloved children. Who could ask for more?