written by Matt Hindley

Read Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18

I’ve had the pleasure of getting to watch my nephew go through his first few years of development. I say years because even though he is only 14 months old at the time of writing this, I knew of him when he was still in his mother’s womb. I saw his sonograms. I saw him develop from a small, featureless bean (or nugget as my sister called him) into a tiny human. I also watched as his parents eagerly awaited his birth.

Since he was born, the joy has only increased. Yes, there have been the usual moments of anxiety and frustration when he has gotten sick or stayed up through the nights, but the smiles he has brought to our faces have only gotten bigger as he has grown. Watching him smile for the first time, sit up on his own, then crawling, now walking…it all brings a sense of wonder and excitement.

The one bit of his development that I am most in awe of is his response to hearing his name. When my sister or brother-in-law say “Oliver”, he looks them in the eyes and smiles. Now, the smiles are all a little different. Some are a subtle lifting of the lips (almost mischievous), while others are big and tooth bearing, but they all cause him to light up. In return, his parents light up too.

I’d like to think it is the same way with God. God knew us before we were born. God’s watched us as we’ve grown. God knows our name. Knowing our name is more than knowing a word. It is knowing our history. Knowing what has made us who we are, even the things we don’t share with anyone else. Knowing all of that, and yet loving us all the more for it.
God calls our names. We turn to him, and light up, knowing that a beaming smile will be waiting for us.

Prayer: Heavenly Creator, it is unfathomable to me that with all the people on this planet You would know my name. Not only know my name, but know all of me. I am comforted that even on my worst days, I can turn to You and receive a smile; receive love. Help me to see the overlooked, learn who they are, and call them by name. Help me to share Your love now and always. Amen.
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