“I have called you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1 (NLT)
The pandemic has been -and any crisis can be a time during which we become more and more isolated. We don’t see who we regularly see. We miss the close contact and extended conversations in person with family and friends. We miss even small talk with strangers. For many that kind of environment can generate feelings of being unknown, anonymous. We might start to wonder, do people still know my name?
Isaiah 43 starts with a wonderfully reassuring truth that God knows names. God is speaking to the whole community of his people as they endure the hardships of exile, waiting for a time of relief and restoration. To keep up their courage, God communicates his secure love for them by citing his personal knowledge of their names and by reminding them that they are dear to his heart.
A family is sitting around a supper table. The conversation turns to a discussion of a grandfather’s diminishing cognitive abilities. It’s to the point that even the names of close family members are being forgotten. In fact, on some of the worse days even God’s name seems out of memory’s reach. It is a painful reality. But a child speaks up. She reminds everyone that even though Grandpa can’t remember, God never forgets. God remembers our names even if we reach a point of forgetting his. God remembers our name and tells us that we belong to him.
In world that can feel so isolating, God in Jesus Christ still comes to us each day, living among us by the Spirit and lovingly reminding us, ‘You are my friends (John 15:14 ) and I too know your name. I have rescued you.’
PRAYER ENCOURAGEMENT: Dear God, help us to know that you are near, you are with us, you know our name and we are yours -now and forever more. In the name of Jesus. AMEN.
Reread and listen to Isaiah 43:1-3 using the song “Fear Not, For I Have Redeemed You” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MN7CiQm7I5A&list=RDlihxBd7A2Qs&index=19