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God Knows My Name

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God Knows My Name

Jesus said to her, “Mary”  John 20:16

His resurrection would soon be known to and believed by many. Two of His close followers would rush to the tomb when they heard the report of its emptiness. But it is Mary of Magdala and a few other sad women who are the direct recipients of the angel’s earth-shattering message that Jesus has risen from the dead. Even they react in ‘trembling and astonishment,’ but reality takes hold with a fierce grip when Mary hears her name. Jesus takes time from His post-resurrection agenda to make sure that this hurting, wondering, wanting-to-hope, forgiven woman knows beyond any shadow of a doubt that He is alive again. Here I see the heart of my God. He takes time to meet ‘me to know my heart’ to call me by name.

In the midst of our busy lives it is easy to miss the call of needy friends. Responsibilities of managing a home and family in addition to our positions in the business world fill our ears with sounds that frequently blur the desperate call of others. Too often it is only when we are faced with the tragedies of earthquakes, tsunamis and the death of loved ones that our ears are open to desperate cries.

But God is always ready to call us by name, to gently attract our attention to His love and care. It is important that I take time daily to sit quietly and listen.

Father, thank you for knowing and loving me intimately by name.  Help me carefully listen so that I hear your loving whisper. Amen.

By Marilyn Ehle
Used by Permission

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God Knows – Know God

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You do not know what you are going to do; the only thing you know is that God knows what He is doing.*

God Knows. The great challenge of faith is that we live and move in uncertainty. I chuckle to myself whenever I hear people lay out life plans: we’re going to finish college before we get married; we’ll wait a few years and get settled into jobs, then start a family. Or, We’re going to move to a cheaper area and work for a while so we can save money, then we’ll move back and be able to buy a house.

The encourager in me cheers on the young couple; the realist wants to start asking, “But what if…?”; the arrogant Bible student in me (yes, he’s there) wants to quote

James 4:13-17
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”

God didn’t tell Abram where to go, he just told him to go; I wonder how Sarai felt about that. Jonah was told exactly where to go, and he went the other direction; God compelled a smelly, messy U-turn. Saul (the future evangelist, not the king) was following his plan when God interrupted with a blinding flash; he ended up finishing that journey, but with a very different purpose.

Plans are good and necessary; they help us make decisions today that would be more difficult without some idea of what we wanted to do tomorrow. But for those who want to follow God, our plans need to be held loosely. And when they don’t work out, we must lean on the One who is always certain.

God does not tell you what He is going to do; He reveals to you who He is.*

Know God. No matter how well planned, the future is always uncertain. Even when plans are going just as we … well, planned, life can change in an instant: Cancer. Car accident. Market crash. Layoff. Miscarriage. Or, as with a student teacher I met recently, someone else’s innocent mistake years back has rippled forward and disrupted everything, potentially laying to waste all the work and schooling and training she has done.

When plans are interrupted, life can spiral out of control. Emotions spin, hearts drain, motivation dies. We go from living to existing, and that in the cold, persistent grey of a Seattle winter. Questions drip from the dark clouds, slowly building in intensity until all life is a storm and spiritual vertigo blinds us to any sense of direction.

And it is there amid the tempest that God meets us. There we—like the Psalmist—find in God a refuge. He becomes shield and shepherd, guide and guardian. In the cancer, he is Comforter. After the layoff, he is Provider. In the waiting, he is Emmanuel, God With Us. In the injustice, Merciful.

God is not always who we want him to be, when we want him to be it. In the hospital, we want Healer more than Comforter. In the courthouse we want Judge, not Mercy (unless I am the one on trial). After the layoff, I want a job, not charity.

God rarely meets our expectations—and always exceeds them.

In the midst of the storms of his life, Job had endless questions for God; none was answered. In the end, he only had a new glimpse of the Almighty, and that was sufficient. Saul, too, received new spiritual eyes (though, ironically, he is believed to have had very poor physical eyesight). The blind man’s prayer, “I want to see,” should be our cry when life’s circumstances blind us. The vision we need is not to see the road, but to see God, to know him in ways we have not yet perceived.

Jesus said, “This is eternal life: that they may know you….”

When only God knows, may we know God.

*Quotes are from My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers.

By Randy Ehle



Used by Permission
http://randehle.com/


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