Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pastor's Perspective - God Knows Your Name

Yesterday our beautiful 15-year-old daughter Emma returned from a three-week getaway to Florida to visit family and attend a Christian youth conference with her cousins. This was the first time she had ever flown by herself and the longest she had ever been away from home. Thanks to my wife’s good planning and the loving care of family and friends in the Sunshine State, Emma came home with a suitcase-full of beautiful heart-warming and life-changing stories and memories. Perhaps the best story happened just ten minutes after taking-off.

As mentioned, this was Emma’s first time flying alone.  She was a bit anxious and so were we. My wife Michelle was able to take her personally to her departing gate in Sacramento. We texted Emma as she settled into her seat to offer our best parental assurance; but, as all frequent flyers know, those electronic devices don’t stay on very long! With that, we could only trust God and pray. Sounds like parenthood, huh? You plan for your child, you protect your child, you reassure them and walk with them as far as you can – but ultimately you must trust God and release them into His sovereign care.

As the 737 Emma was on was climbing in altitude out of Sacramento, she said that the plane experienced severe bumpiness that only seemed to intensify. Though Emma has flown with us several times, she had never experienced this unnerving sensation to this degree before. In her seat in Row 8, she began to do what we hoped she would do under such circumstances –she prayed; but, the shaking only continued. She told us that she felt herself begin to panic. Here she was, a teen flying alone, trying her best to be brave. She told us that as the panic continued to rise, she knew that she was within seconds of publically “freaking out”. Just then she heard a voice she described as a distinct whisper – “Emma Kiefer”.  She turned around in her seat, but she was cognizant of the fact that nobody on the plane knew her; yet, somebody had just clearly spoken her name. Though the turbulence continued, Emma said she felt an immediate peace wash over her. Likewise, she knew Who had spoken to her.

Friends, God knows your name.

When you feel all alone and have no one to turn to, God knows your name.

When life is turbulent and seemingly out of control, God knows your name.

When you’re on the brink of a complete breakdown, God knows your name.

He knows everything about you – the good, the bad and the ugly. Everything! And He still loves you any way. There is nothing you can do today to make Him love you less. The Cross of His Son Jesus is the proof of His immeasurable love for you. So, stop running from it. It’s a love that would rather die than live without you.

God knows your name.

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