Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine. (Isaiah 43:1)
As young people, and even grown adults, it isn’t difficult to relate to what I call ‘the joy of being known.’ It begins right when we are born. We were named, fussed over, cuddled. We were loved, held, known by our names. And then we begin to grow up, and stumble over experiences that are all a part of growing up.
I’ve stood for long, awkward moments in front of people I looked up to, who couldn’t for the life of them remember what my name was. I would wait for a while, fidgety and embarrassed. And then unable to watch the torment they were going through, I would patiently remind them, and disappear into the refuge of the crowd, shamefaced. Well, of course, they were normal, imperfect human beings, with failing memories. But try telling that to a pimply-faced, bony girl of thirteen. It was like being struck hard on the face.
We grow up amid quite such embarrassing instances of being called by someone else’s name, or having our names mispronounced, mistaken, or worse still, forgotten. The thoughts come rushing in, unchecked – ‘I don’t matter much. I am insignificant. No one knows me, and no one cares.’ Repetition of such instances, along with disappointments and rejection from family or friends, often multiplies our insecurities, and soon we are bent low under the crushing weight of grief and despair in a world that measures our worth by what we possess and not by who we are. Some of us have even wept hard into our pillows for nights and years on end, the wound festering and painful. We long for someone who would come along and tell us that we matter, that we aren’t blobs of cells floating aimlessly in the vastness of space.
And then we hear a Voice. Not in the great whoosh of a powerful wind, not in a resounding earthquake, not in the loud, crackling of a raging fire, but a gentle whisper (1 Kings 19:11,12) of the Saviour King calling us by our names. Calling us out of darkness and despair, into His marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9) The cloud of despair dissipates, and the joy of being forgiven, accepted, set free, the joy of being known, floods in.
I love the first chapter of Jeremiah when the Lord speaks to the prophet, and tells him, ‘I knew you before you were conceived in your mother’s womb.’ (Jeremiah 1:4-5) I jump for joy when I read about how the child Samuel ministered in the temple, but did not know that it was the voice of God calling out his name. (1 Samuel 3:1-10) He may not have known, but the Lord knew. He knew him by name.
I’m amazed every time I read in the gospels about how Jesus just walked through the streets and called the first disciples. He walked up to right where they were, and He called them. He knew them by their names – no fumbling, no shadow of a doubt about who they really were. (Matthew. 4:18-22) It didn’t matter to Him where they were – at sea fishing, or behind the tax collectors’ booth, or perched high on a tree, or in a cave bleeding and possessed. All that mattered was that their wounded souls needed Him, and that He knew them. He knew them by their names.
And in case you have forgotten or are wondering if you really matter, let me remind you. He knows you by name. (Isaiah 43:1-2) You were conceived in the heart of God, before you were conceived in your mother’s womb. He knows when you sit and when you rise. He knows your thoughts, He knows when you go out and how you come in. He knows where you choose to make your bed, He knows where you live. (Psalm 139:1-12) The finger that wrote on Moses’ stone tablets, writes unfailing love on the tablet of your heart. He calls out your name with love. He speaks your name with purpose.
Like Job, you may be floundering under the crashing waves of suffering and loss, but know this – your Redeemer is alive. He will come to restore and fill you with His blessings. He will come calling you by your name.
When you hear a gentle whisper calling your name, take heart. When you hear a shout like the sound of many waters thundering out your name, stop and delight in this unchanging truth – He knows you by name. When you feel the enemy’s arrow piercing your heart with the poison of doubt and rejection, and letting loose a torrent that threatens to overwhelm you with the burden of guilt and shame, look up at the stars. You can’t count them but your God can. You don’t know their names, but He does. (Psalm 147:4, Isaiah 40:26) And He knows yours.
He knows you by name.
For Prayer and Counselling you can contact Mrs. Sneha Roy at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at +919845722996.