I don’t even know where to begin. I’m about to leave my children in the care of someone else for a few days while I sneak away for a much-needed weekend with my husband and yet, I don’t know how to communicate the necessary information that make my children well,…my children.
Will I forget to mention that Spencer is afraid of thunder and the only meat he will eat are hot dogs and cold cuts? Will I forget to add the fact that Samuel can’t stand the sound of the vacuum cleaner? Will I neglect to share that though she is about to start Kindergarten, Sarah still must have her bunnies when she sleeps? That she gets incredibly emotional when she is tired? You know, the little things that only a mother knows.
As I am contemplating how to communicate this without sounding like a completely neurotic mother, I am stopped by a moment of clarity. This is exactly how Jesus knows us. Each and every one of us.
In her book Scouting the Divine, Margaret Feinberg describes a shepherdess she visited as being able to identify individual sheep by the noises they produced. Yes, each sheep had a particular way of saying “baa” and the shepherdess knew which ones were making which sounds even while her back was turned to them. She could say “Dolly, I hear you! Your food is coming!” or “Daisy, just minute! I’ll help you soon!” simply by hearing their cries.
I was quickly reminded of John 10:14-16 in which Jesus states,
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.”
He knows our specific cries. He tells us He is coming to feed us. He tells us He is coming to help.
How good it feels to me that our God knows us so deeply. In fact, He has always known us intimately – even before our conception. He knows what makes us tick, He knows how to best reach us through our natural “bend” and He knows our most painful struggles. There is no one who knows us like Him. No one.
Of course, I know this. I’ve heard it repeatedly. However, I still sometimes find myself falling victim to the thought that maybe I am just really a speck of dust in His enormous kingdom – that maybe little old me really doesn’t matter to mighty and all-powerful Him. That maybe He doesn’t really have the time to know me because after all, He’s probably so busy with other stuff.
But then I am reminded that His ways are not my ways and He is omnipresent for a reason. That He loves me so much He has placed the Holy Spirit within me to intercede on my behalf even when I myself don’t know what is best for me. That He searches my heart and knows me by name. That in all things, He works for the good for those who love Him. Yes. Just those things. And then I feel safe.
Safe in knowing that He knows me so intimately. Safe in knowing that He created my inmost being. Safe in knowing that He is using my weaknesses to enhance His kingdom. He is indeed the good shepherd and I am simply a lamb who He knows so well and loves.