“But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by name; thou art Mine.” (Isaiah 43:1 KJV)
I met my college roommate on moving day. He told me his name, I gave him mine. We had little in common, save both being from Indiana. He wore aviator sunglasses all the time, even inside and was always on his phone. One day, trying in vain to get his attention, I yelled out, “Hey Hollywood!”. The nickname stuck, and soon all of us living in dorm 4, 5, and 6 called him Hollywood, his real name forgotten.
Hollywood’s main love in life was his 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. It was his main topic of conversation, if he wasn’t in class or in bed, he was in the “Evo”. One day, Hollywood decided it was a good idea to race his beloved “Evo” down I75. Unfortunately for him, he was pulled over traveling around 120 mph. To make matters worse, he was pulled over in a construction zone, double the fine. The officer told him, “Basically, I’m writing this ticket for 240 in a 55. That’s reckless endangerment, which is a trip to the county jail and your car is being impounded.”
I was his one phone call, which I ignored because the school had a very strict cell phone policy and I was in class. Two hours later, I finally checked my voicemail to hear the frantic pleading of my roommate begging me to come get him out of jail. In his pleading he neglected to mention what jail and how much it would cost to get him out. So I broke out the yellow pages (before Google was available on phones) and called the first jail that came up. I told the receptionist I needed information pertaining to getting my roommate released.
“Ok sir, can I have his name please?” she asked.
“Of course, it’s Hollyw… oh uh, may I call you back?” I had totally forgotten his real name.
I asked my roommates, they didn’t have a clue. The guys next door, they didn’t know either. Twelve guys, not a one knew his real name. Finally, I dug through his backpack until I found a paper that his name written at the corner. I called back, gave her his name and got the information that we needed to get him released.
Brian, aka Hollywood, having sat in jail for over four hours, was so joyful to be free from that place that he forgave the people who had lived with him for months and yet didn’t know his name.
When I was bound and needed to be set free, there was someone who knew my name and He set me free. Even before time began, He knew me, He knew my name, and that He would die in my place so that I could live. When sin and death were all I knew, He knew me and loved me.
The very God who spoke the universe into existence has passed my name through His lips. He knows more than my name. The Bible says He even knows the hairs on my head. How amazing ,that the Creator of the universe knows me personally, intimately. He knows my struggles, my pain, my past, my problems and He gives me grace to overcome each and every one. He chooses to remember my sin no more, and presents me with mercy renewed every morning.
Jesus desires to know us and for us to know Him. A personal walk with the Savior, a close, daily encounter with our redeemer. He knows all about us anyway, and yet at times we keep him at arms length, treating our relationship with him with a cool professionalism, only calling on Him when in trouble. We develop this business-esque relationship, treating the One who sticks closer than any brother with an employee/supervisor or student/principal attitude, or treat Him like AAA, we only call in an emergency.
How much more closer would He have us walk? To truly know Him, to meet with Him daily in prayer and talk with Him throughout the day as we would our spouse, a dear friend, or family member. As we walk closer with Him, He revels more and more of Himself to us. The more we walk with Him, the more glimpses we get of His Glory. While we can never truly know Him in all His ways, the problems of life get small the more we know of Him and His goodness.
I want to desire to know Him, personally, deeply, intimately. I want the relationship I have with God to be a well traveled two way street. I want to seek Him early in the morning, because having a little talk with Jesus will make it right, the things I encounter throughout the day won’t seem as big or feel as heavy if I’ve spent some time whose throne is the heavens. The more I allow Him into all aspects of my life and allow Him to have His will in them, the less I have to worry about the eleventh hour prayers to Him to correct something I should have placed in His hands to begin with. I want to talk to Him at midday, just to keep Him at the forefront of my life, to let Him guide and direct me. A conversation with the Master to close out my day, to lay the days burdens down, offer up praise, seek His protection over my family, my home.
My biggest fault, or at least one of them, is this innate desire to do it myself, refuse all help or advice until I’ve exhausted my own ideas, resources, and strength before begrudgingly accepting the help that was offered, when if I had accepted it earlier on, I would have saved myself and others time, money, headaches and frustrations. Slowly, I’m learning to let go, and let God. To trust in His plan and know He has me in His hands. One challenge I’ve set for myself in the coming year is to increase the flow of conversation with Him, to take one more step closer to the Lord, and to let Him lead me down the path He would have me walk.
I know that whatever I face in life, it’s possible to make through, because God knows, He knows what I’m going through, what I feel, and He’s provided the way, I just have to trust in Him.
He knows my name. He knows Jared Boruff, and all that name entails. And still loves me.