Caleb and I were at the RDU airport on our way to AR surrounded by a sea of strangers. People were everywhere. There were the security people, the travelers, the airline employees, the shop keepers…that was all these strangers were to us. We knew nothing of their circumstances, they were just moving pieces in our surroundings.
But as we were walking, we heard our names and it caught our attention. ” Caleb, Rebecca!”, we turned to see familiar faces, not “some travelers,” but friends. We were no longer white noise in the background, in an instant we shifted from a generic nobody to an important somebody!
I think that is how we sometimes think God sees us…one of the many, many, many.
I think that is how we sometimes think God sees us. I am one of the many, many, many.
Read Isaiah 43: 1 out loud and put your name in the blank:
But now, O ________, listen to the Lord who created you.
O ________, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
In reading this verse a particular statement hit me so hard: “I have called you by name.” Much like the encounter in the airport, God is communicating to his children that you and I are not nameless to Him. We are not one of too many. He knows our name, but that is not all. In this Christmas season, Santa may know our name, but our Savior locks eyes with us in a busy crowd and calls us by our name, “Rebecca!”. Can you imagine that?
“I have called YOU by name.”
The second statement which struck a chord in my heart: “You are mine.” It isn’t a statement of harsh possession, but loving possession. Look, kid, you belong to me. I take full responsibility for you because you are mine. He steps in and says you should not be afraid. I am going to be with you every step of the way, simply because you are mine.
There is a big difference between someone else’s wallet lying on the floor of the airport and YOUR wallet lying on the floor of the airport! That is MINE. I will guard and keep safe MY wallet. That is exactly what He is describing here.
That is the first part of the story, but it isn’t all of it. Out of love, out of a commitment to the truth, I must paint the big picture. The whole story must be shared so that a wise decision can be made. I wouldn’t be loving you if I didn’t tell you that you have an important part to play.
Jesus, explains in Matthew 7:19-23, there will come a day, after God has called out to many and they chose to ignore Him that lines have to be drawn. He explains that some chose to engage in religion, but didn’t know Him and had nothing to show for it while others chose to keep Him the background noise of their lives. “Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
If you have ever reached out to someone over and over and they continued to ignore you or appeared indifferent, you can understand what Jesus is saying. He is communicating, ‘I will be faithful to reach out and call you, but when it is time to invite you to the wedding, I will only invite those who are close to me. Those that knew me and welcomed me as their friend and king.’ As faithful as He is to call us and pursue us, it comes down to how we act in response to His call.
When He calls your name in a crowd will He know you?
I pray in this season of your life that He would become more and more significant to you and take a greater priority. That as He calls your name, you would respond; no longer walking as a nameless and unloved child, but as one who is loved and belongs and a friend of His.
Rebecca lives in Cary with her husband and 4 children. She and her husband are from Mississippi and lived in Wisconsin for 7 years before calling the Triangle home. They are the founding pastors of Bright Chapel and are passionate about equipping, loving and encouraging believers to grow towards spiritual maturity. She loves being surrounded by friends and laughter.If you were to drop in on her you would most likely find her doing laundry.