Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "A Shelter In The Time Of Storm"1 (Lyrics)
Isaiah 49:16a – See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands. (NIV)
I find it rather embarrassing these days that when I go to greet someone whom I have known for ages, suddenly her name is gone from my mind. It is especially annoying when I am in the middle of an introduction and I draw a blank. I know that the name will come back to me within a few seconds, but by then, the individual will have graciously supplied the elusive name. Perhaps, it bothers me so much because it's a matter of pride: I don't want my friends to think less of me, although most of them are in the same boat, so to speak. Perhaps, I feel some resentment at the loss because I used to be so proud of my memory. I even considered it to be semi-photographic, since I could read a page of notes one or two times when studying for examinations, and when it was time to write them, I could see the actual pages in my mind. As a result, I aced most of them, and I was always proud to glow in the compliments that I received from everyone. To be very honest, in retrospect, I think that it gave me a sense of superiority, although I wouldn't have admitted it then.
As I pondered these thoughts, the Lord began to speak to my heart, and I realized how egotistical that made me sound. I really couldn't take any credit for this gift of the excellent memory that God had given me for His purpose, namely that of glorifying Him, not me. In His mercy, He allowed me to use this memory to help achieve a good education, which in turn, helped me to attain the desire of my heart, that of becoming a teacher. In this capacity, I have had countless opportunities to share Jesus.
I sat in humble silence as the truth of Romans 8:28 dawned on me once again: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (NIV)
Then, as I thought again about forgetting names, it came to me that I can be thankful that I can still remember my own name. And far more importantly, should I ever forget it, I have the comforting knowledge that my heavenly Father knows my name.
In the words of the Maranatha Singers:
- He knows my name,
He knows my every thought.
He sees each tear that falls,
And hears me when I call.
With these words of assurance in mind, instead of wasting my time and limited energy complaining, I am attempting to concentrate on enjoying the rest of the journey to my heavenly mansion. I realize that we are not all at the same place in this adventure, but we know that we all have the same loving Lord to walk beside us, and this is the confidence to keep uppermost in our mind.
Prayer: Father, give us the grace to obey Your words, "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV) We know from experience that in obedience lies peace. Amen.