We had a conference at church this last weekend where all the members in our area (10 congregations) met together to be taught by our area leaders. There was a great story told about a man who was on a ship that was going down. The captain had ordered everyone to stay on the boat, but this man had a voice tell him by name to get off the boat. He tried to convince the captain they should jump off, but the captain was convinced they would be safer staying on. After the fourth or fifth time of being told, each time by name, to get off the boat, he finally tackled the captain off. Shortly after, the boat sunk like a rock and they would all have been killed in the suction if they had stayed on.
When the man was asked what he took away from that experience, he replied, “He knows my name.”
He knows my name as well. When I was 18, I had an undeniable witness given to me that He knows me and loves me. That was my first true testimony building moment, and it is my most cherished. Still, nearly 20 years later, it amazes me.
I’ve had gentle reminders of it through the years. Sometimes when I’m feeling lost, often as the frustrated mom of many small, rambunctious boys, and almost always when I’m struggling. Sometimes I ask for the help, like when I can’t find things, and sometimes it just shows up out of the blue and knocks me off my feet that He knows what I need in that moment.
Take this last weekend. My husband just got home from a two-week long trip. The first week was fine, but going into the second weekend, things started to unravel. My sister was ill and my mom needed to go help her, leaving my with my grandma to take care of (have I told you we share our home with my mom and grandma? We know, we’re crazy), along with ourselves, minus Brandon. At first it seemed doable, but as the weekend approached and behaviors started to deteriorate, I started to feel like we weren’t going to make it. Add that my mom’s trip needed to be extended a day, the time for church on Sunday got moved up an hour from 10am to 9am and was a 30 minute trip away instead of our normal 10 minutes, and two of my boys were very unhappy and vocal about a going to a scouting food drive, I was barely holding it together when I dropped them off at the church Saturday morning.
Then, He knew my name.
As I was getting ready to drive away, one of the boys Scout leaders flagged me down and offered to bring the boys home with him. It was such a small gesture, and really no big deal to him, but in that very moment, it was so huge for me. One less trip I had to wrestle with children to convince them to get shoes and coats on and get in the car. I drove home in happy, disbelieving tears.
We got home and I sat down to decompress from the FUN morning I’d had when my phone rang.
Again, He knew my name.
A friend called and said she just felt like she needed to volunteer to watch the kids so I could go to the adult session of the conference that night. I had written that out of my schedule long ago. There was just no way it was going to happen. But here was a sweet friend listening to a little prompting voice and acting on it. I was seriously stunned. I rarely cry around people, or to them, so you know it was a big deal when I couldn’t even speak for about 60 seconds.
How did He know? Because He knows me. He is aware of the mundane, everyday details of my life, and even though I don’t always notice it, if I’m coherent enough by the end of the day to think about it, I can see the small ways He has stepped in to lighten my load, or help me be patient, or help me be the one to show someone else He knows them.
“I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me.”
He knows my name.