Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Mid-Week Message - We Are Not Alone

"I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father.  So I sacrifice my life for the sheep."  John 10:14-15 (NLT)

According the, the percentage of people in the world who become famous is 0.0086.  Not very many, is it?  When my daughter was in middle school I began asking her if she had chosen what to study in college and her reply was that she didn't need to go to college because she was going to be a rock star.  I didn't laugh or tell her that probably wouldn't happen.  I simply told her that she would occasionally find herself during a time when she didn't have a gig so she should probably have a skill to fall back on. 

As children, a lot of us had dreams of being famous.  I went through my time of wanting to be a movie star or a singer, or a princess, but I was pretty sure I wouldn't find a prince to marry.  As I grew older, common sense took over and I came to the realization that I needed to choose something more practical as a direction in life.  Instead, I attended Bible college then worked with children in many different capacities, leading to my career as a school secretary. 

We all want to be known, at least to some extent.  Fame isn't important, but we want to feel loved and important to those in our sphere of life.  Sadly, there are many who find themselves alone.  If you walk into any senior living center or nursing home, the staff will be able to list those who get no visitors.  They aren't the only ones.  In 2016, the National Institute of Mental Health estimated that 16.2 million adults in the United States suffered at least one major depressive episode during that year.  Depression is a condition that leads people to isolate and shut themselves off from others, even though they too wish to be loved and their lives considered important. 

During the quarantine that we have been through, countless individuals found themselves struggling with the lack of contact with family and friends.  We have had a just a taste of what many live with all the time.  The truth is that we were made to need each other.  When alone for extended periods of time, we begin to wonder if anyone even remembers our names. 

The wonderful news is that Almighty God knows each of us by name!  Today's verse tells us that Jesus knows His sheep and His sheep know Him.  As our Holy Shepherd He knows not only our names, but everything about us including whether we are feeling lonely and unloved.  In Isaiah 49:16, we are told, "See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands."  Because God is all-knowing, He knew our names and everything about us before He created the universes.  We don't have to be famous on earth.  The Lord of all creation knows us intimately and loves us so much that He sent His only Son to die on the cross in our place so that we could spend eternity in Heaven with Him.

It is vital that we reach out to those who are lonely.  They may forget how important they are to our Savior, but we can be there to share His love and to reassure them that they are loved by us and by Him.  It is an easy thing to provide a listening ear, a warm hug and a word of encouragement.  Maybe it is only possible to visit one person, but to that one person we may be the only hope they have to grab onto.  And if you are one of those who are isolated and feeling alone, I am here.  I love you and I know for sure my love comes nowhere near the love Jesus has for you.  Cry out to Him.  Let Him meet you where you are.  He will.  He has for me, more times than I can count.  God bless.

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