But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. Isaiah 43:1
I remember as a teenage girl I would stare into the mirror and think to myself, “Who are you?” I never had the correct answer and after finding all the well – rehearsed faults in my image (your face is too thin, your eyes too large, you look like a mouse, what’s with those big teeth…), I would disgustingly stomp away from my reflection and bury yet another piece of my heart. Insecure was my name tag.
As I grew up, perhaps the ugly duckling turned into a swan but here is the thing, I never believed it. I have always struggled with a deep running river of feeling not enough – less than – whether it was my appearance, my intelligence, my accomplishments, etc.. I was the B student, the 2nd place swimmer, the good artist (not the best), I was the alto in the choir (not the soprano) and on and on. The third child of four, I didn’t have a definable place. I wasn’t first born. I wasn’t the first son….and I wasn’t the baby of the family. Truly not whining here, just sharing perspective.
As a young girl and later as a woman, I found myself keeping people, even family – just a wee bit far away- revealing part of my heart – but maintaining that arms length. I confess, I still do this to some degree. Old habits die hard.
However, the only place I did seem to drop this guard was when it came to romance. There, much to my chagrin, I trusted too quickly, too deeply and for too long. Whew – did I make some bad choices and cause a lot of self damage. You surely have heard the saying, “looking for love in all the wrong places…” Please notice my picture next to the definition of that sentence…and it is these choices that did the most damage to my psyche. I conviced myself that no matter how hard the relationship, by my shear will, I could “fix it.” Trust me, that kind of determination can cut both ways.
It was sometime in my 40’s (yes – it took that long) and I was leading a young woman’s bible study that I came across these verses above. I am made fearful and wonderful? Huh? That was just too weird for me so I began to research what this passage really meant.
According to bibleresources.info, “the Old Testament scriptures were originally written in Hebrew, later translated into English and other languages. The word translated “fearfully” in this scripture comes from the Hebrew word yârê.” This word in Hebrew means reverant. And reverant means to regard with profound respect and honor.
To think that the Master of all Creation chose to make me with respect, honor and wonderfully for His purpose just really rocked my world. It was this verse that lead me to re-ask the question, not who am I but rather, “Who does God say I am?”
And as I researched into the scriptures more, I came across so many verses that spoke of God’s love for me, what He thinks of me, and His place for me.
I am not the grand sum of nothing.
I am not created as an afterthought (that 3rd child with no definable place) but I am His special choice. And as His choice, God knows my name, MINE! And claims me as HIS and in that God redeems me (pays the price for me and my mistakes).
“But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. (emphasis mine) Isaiah 43:1
But God doesn’t stop there, later in the same book of Scriptures, God also promises,
“See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” Isaiah 49:16
Oh but what this realization does to my heart and personal perspective. When I read and then re-read that passage I literally feel tears in my eyes. My name is written (engraved) on the palm of God’s hands, where He can look down and see that name and smile and say to Himself, “that one, she is mine…”.
It is heady stuff that He claims me, “I have summoned you by name; you are mine. Isaiah 43:1
I am His! He summons me – and calls me by my name. That too stuns me. To be afforded such exquisite familiarity- with the God of all creation. Let me catch my breath.
And here is the most important thing, God is calling your name too. It took me 30 plus years of living within ear shot of His voice, but I would not listen.
In writing this note Dear one, I pray and implore you to no longer stand in the waiting room of God’s Kingdom.
He is waiting to tattoo your name on His hand too. God promises in the book of Jeremiah, “If you seek me, you will find me when you seek me with ALL (emphasis mine) your heart.”
Who Does God Say that YOU are? Well luv, why don’t you just ask Him? He has MUCH to say on His favorite subject – you!
Amen and amen.