The shepherd walks right up to the gate. The gatekeeper opens the gate to him and the sheep recognise his voice. He calls his own sheep my name and leads them out.
Wow… when God calls your name it’s special… it means something… YOU mean something….
A name means something….your name means something.
We had a discussion in life group sometime ago in response to the question “what would be the most encouraging thing you could do for a newcomer at your church,” and someone said “remember their name!” In fact there was a story of a lady who went to a new church…. The following week and then the following week she went back again and when asked what had drawn her back she said “someone remembered my name!”
The power of a name… the affirmation of having YOUR name spoken in love and friendship. Jesus was a master at that. Probably the best known one is when Mary was found crying in the garden that first Easter Sunday and Jesus speaks her name…. Just Mary…. Did a name ever sound so sweet and healing? You know he speaks our name like that…. Hard to take on board, but true.
When my dad was very poorly… in fact it was about two hours before he went Into hospital, a district nurse who had cared for mum some three years previously, came to take his blood. I was in the kitchen making a cup of tea when she went through to him in the lounge and I heard her say Oh Jack!” It was with feeling as she realised how ill he was, but she had remembered his name and that meant such a lot to dad and to me.
I don’t know whether you and God communicate often or infrequently….. but even if it’s been ages…..he knows your name. He whispers to you today oh how much that name, how much YOU mean to him.
So in those days when if feels like No-one knows and no-one cares, remember that’s a lie…. And remember again that he is closer than you think.
May you hear Him
In the silence of your soul may his voice reach you
In the cracks where you are broken
In the pits where you sink low
In the tangled web of weeds that choke your dreams
In the sharp-edged stones that pierce your feet
In your flaws and in your fears
In your failings
May you hear him.
May you come to know the tone of his affection
And recognise the accents of his love
May his prose become your reading
His poetry your song
His magnificent the spring
Your streams flow from
In your listening
In your longings
May you hear him.
Written by Sheila Sutton