Last Fall I had a conversation with my kids about saving money to buy something. The conversation went like this:
Alliyah: “I could save up to buy a kitten and kitten stuff.”
Joshua: “I’d buy squitos (mosquitos) and dragonflies!”
Alliyah: “Yuck! I wouldn’t want that. (Alliyah pauses for a moment) I would buy a fly if it could say my name.”
I think that is just hilarious. First of all, if my son ever pays money for a mosquito, we will have a serious talk. Then there is Alliyah, whose initial reaction was spot on about buying a bug until an idea formed in her head. If the fly could say her name, suddenly it would have worth. In other words, if the fly could relate to her personally or be special in some way, then she would want it, even if it was a fly.
I don’t plan to over-spiritualize this interaction with my kids, but it did get me thinking about how we want people to know our name. Our name is the representation for who we are. We want to be known.
I will openly admit that for some reason the name of a person flies right in one ear and out the other. Names rarely stick. I will easily remember every detail of the conversation I had with someone, but for some reason, I can not recall their name. This frustrates me. It feels good to be remembered. It feels good to be known. Usually a person feels remembered and known if you can address them by name when you see them again. I hate that I have a hard time remembering a person’s name.
Maybe that is why the song, “He Knows My Name” is so impactful to me. The song says,
“He knows my name. He knows my every thought. He sees each tear that falls and he hears me when I call…”
It is easy to feel forgotten by God when life circumstances are less than ideal. When the Author of Life is not authoring life in me, it is easy to feel like I have fallen from his gaze, that I have been overlooked. I know in my head that I can never fall from his view, but sometimes I do not feel very important to Him.
I have always struggled in one way or another with feeling like I matter to God. I mean, he is GOD. He has a whole world to tend to. I am just not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. Don’t misunderstand me here. I know I am important. I know that I have worth. I like myself. I know that God loves me, but I do not necessarily feel special to Him. How can I when every other person in the world is special to Him?
I do not expect God to forget my name. He knows everything. So I do not find it all that impressive to think about God knowing my name, but the thought of God saying my name is a different story. The thought of God saying, “Jillian Heerlyn” is enough to fill my stomach with butterflies. Suddenly, the mere utterance of my name makes me feel incredibly special. The thought that the God of the universe would utter my name is almost un-imaginable. Yet, that is who God is. He calls us by name.
The Bible says, “He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out” (John 10:3b, emphasis added).
He calls you by name. He calls me by name. You are important to Him. And although he is God, which seems so distant and far off, he is also the One who is close enough to say your name. He is the One who is close enough to sit with you with a cup of coffee (if you like coffee) and process the day with you. He is close enough to comfort you when you are sad. He knows your thoughts, yet is a good listener while you process (Psalm 139:2, 1 John 3:20). He sees each tear and each tear does matter to Him (Psalm 56:8, 2 Kings 20:5). He hears you when you call to Him (Psalm 116:1, 1 John 5:14).
I wish I could personally write your name in the following sentence rather than leaving a blank for you to fill in, but know that God sees your name in the blank as you read this. He knows you.
God knows your name is ______________, a name that is special to Him because it is yours. You are His. Whether life is tough or great, the amazing, overwhelming love and care of the God of the universe remains constant. You are not forgotten by Him. May you be able to feel his lasting comfort and peace today.