Because I’m one who learns by repetition…lots and lots and lots of repetition…God reminds me more than once each morning that I belong to Him.
Have you heard the story about how I was baptized with the wrong name? Yep. We had an interim pastor at the time. I was nine years old and I had recently accepted Jesus’ gift of salvation through His death on the cross and ressurrection from the grave. I was eager to be immersed in our church’s baptismal pool.
I don’t remember the interim pastor’s name. I’m not sure if that’s my subconscious attempt at revenge or just the fact that this all happened 40 years ago and I have of course forgiven him (ahem!), but I think that’s kind of fitting…me not knowing his name and all. Anyhoo…when the pastor dunked me under the waters, he said he baptized Kathy Winton in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost (I guess I should just be thankful he got the Trinity’s names right!). My maiden name is Winton, but my given name is Kay, not Kathy. I’m pretty sure I swallowed a mouthful of water while trying to correct the minister’s mistake, but alas I was under water and the deed was done. Kathy was going to heaven, I thought, but I wasn’t sure about me, Kay.
I’ve got stellar parents and they did an excellent job of convincing me that even though Pastor What’s His Name didn’t baptize me with the correct name God knew who I was. And I love and trust my parents, so I believed them. (And yes, I know that baptism doesn’t send you to heaven.)
Don’t you, too, sometimes wonder if the God of this universe, the One who created it all and keeps it all together, really knows you? And even if you had stellar parents and rockstar Sunday school teachers and mind blowing pastors (who baptized you with your given name *wink* *wink*), don’t you wonder if God, I mean THE God, really knows your name and has His eye on you and enjoys you and has plans for you and is preparing a place for you… little ol’ you? Come on. Really now!
True, God said these words to Israel, His chosen people. But the Bible tells me I am also His chosen people in Colossians 3:12 and 1 Peter 2:9. Therefore, I can know without a doubt that He has called me by name and I, Laura Kay Winton Harms, belong to Him.
So as I read this third scripture in my Soul Satisfying Menu of scriptures each morning, I’m reminded that I belong to Him (I don’t belong to anyone else and no one belongs to me). But I also receive the added benefit of hearing that the God of this universe has called me out by name, summoned me into relationship with Him, wooed me into His gracious embrace, romanced me with the sweetest name to my ears (my own, of course!) and singled me out with love. There is no doubt that my God knows me by name and treasures me as His own. I am so adored. You, too.