Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Called By Name
But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
Because you are precious in my eyes,
and honored, and I love you,
I give men in return for you,
peoples in exchange for your life.
- Isaiah 43:1-4
How beautiful are those words? God tells us not to fear. He says, "I have called you by name, you are mine." Read that and tell me it's not reassuring.
When I was in college, I was a member of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and I remember singing a version of Isaiah 43 set to music. I loved this song and every time I revisit these words, the strength of them washes over me and seeps down deep into my bones. There is nothing in this world like the feeling that comes from being told that God has chosen us.
We're sinful, terrible people. Not only does the Bible tell us so, both early and often, but we see it in our lives. We have hurt people, we have failed to do things that we ought to do, we have fallen short of the glory of God.
God owes us nothing, but He has chosen us. He sent His own son to die for our sins, and He calls us out by name and makes us His. Neither water nor fire will part us from Him, and even in the loneliest of days, the knowledge that God has chosen me and poured out His love to me makes things seem a little less dark. And the knowledge that this is not my forever home and that He has chosen a place for me to spend eternity makes life seem lighter still.
When we think about where we belong, the pat answer "with God" isn't quite so pat anymore, is it? It's actually quite amazing and His grace seems even more so every time I think about it.
Sharing this here: