God Calls You By Your Name
When you are introduced to someone for the first time, you immediately want to know their name. While you may remember their hairstyle, clothes or smile, what you are really interested in is calling them by name. Then they're not just "The lady with the three kids" or "The woman who lives on Main Street." That's nice to know, but it's definitely not personal.
Once you know someone's name, you can put a name with a face. You can begin to put the pieces of their life together. You can call her name from across the room, then smile and wave. Shouting "Hey you over there" doesn't go over exceptionally well for some reason. Suddenly a dozen women turn to you because you weren't specific about whose attention you wanted.
When you use a woman's name when you speak to her, it shows that you want something more personal than a passing greeting. You asked, you remember and you care enough to use her name. It's the exact opposite of the telemarketer who calls and butchers the pronunciation of both your first and last names - so you tell them there's no one here by that name and hang up. Instead, you're using a name as a way to get closer, not get hung up on.
Knowing the importance of a name makes Isaiah 43:1 that much more intimate.
But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
God, the Creator of the universe, knows your name.
Take a deep breath right here and think about that.
The same God who flung the stars into place and built up the mountains with a single hand knows your name. Yours. Your very own name.
He knows everything about you: how many hairs are on your head, what your favorite color is and the way you like your burger cooked. He knows what you're thinking about as you read this, your worries, your fears your doubts. He knows every detail from every moment of your life even better than you do. He was there to experience all the joys you've had, walking right beside you and guiding you down the path He has for you to travel.
And He also knows your downside. He knows your heart condition, your sin and your attitude. He knows about the way you might hedge the truth, embrace thoughts of envy or put other things before Him in your life. You may think you've hidden it quite well, but not from God. He knows your sin.
But that's not how God identifies you. You aren't "The woman who sometimes spreads gossip." He doesn't refer to you as "The lady who grumbles every time she is asked to help out." He knows your sin, but He calls you by your name.
He knows everything about you, but He still sees you through the blood of Christ. You are called by your name because you are His. Now. Forever. His.
Take another breath here.
You belong to God. You are His. He calls you by your name because you are His. He will never abandon you. He will never leave you for someone else. He will never leave you to fend for yourself. He will never trade you in for a newer model. He will never put you on the sale rack as new people come in. And He will never forget your name. He won't have to secretly glance at your name tag to jog His memory or ask the hostess to help Him remember. He knows you to the very core of your being.
What this means for you is contentment. Peace. Trust. The ability to go into any situation and know that you will come out victorious. Be fearless, He says, because you are Mine. You are bought with a price, and you belong to the King. When He is for you, no one can stand against you.
What could you do today knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that God Himself knows you, loves you and protects you? If He took your face in His hands right now and whispered your name, would you feel like you could accomplish anything? He can, He does and He is.
So spend today living life for Him. He knows your name, He goes with you and He delights to work through you. He will call you by name because you are His.
Have a great day in the presence of the Lord, and listen for the moments when He calls your name.