A couple nights ago I had the amazing privilege to share one of my life stories with our church’s youth group. It was a five minute presentation in which I hoped God would speak through me with a message of his love for each student there. About an hour before I left I decided that I was going to invite Maddie to come along with me. I wanted her to see me getting up in front of a crowd as she does for each of her dance recitals. I wanted to inspire her to not be afraid to share a message that God sends her to share.
Before I shared my story there were a few games. One of the games was similar to soccer but with a few twists. Maddie was invited to play the soccer game and while she timidly declined I could tell part of her wanted to try it. One of the adult leaders told her he would go in with her. That was the nudge she needed to feel comfortable and quickly jumped in to play.
As you can imagine junior high and high school boys can be a little competitive. As her mom I was concerned she would get squashed in the heat of the battle for the ball. However, the kids did an amazing job of watching out for her and shielded her if she needed it.
What amazed me was no matter how crazy the middle of the circle got or how tall the kids were, I could always spot exactly where Maddie was. Even if I took my eyes off of her for a second to prevent the ball from going in my own teams goal, as soon as I looked up to check on her I could always find her.
It was in one of these moments when I glanced up and found her within seconds that God taught me a parable. He said, “Robin, sometimes you wonder if you matter to me. You look at all the zillions of people on earth and you wonder how you could ever be special to me. You wonder how I know where you are and how I have time for you all. He said, Robin, I find you as quickly as are able to find Maddie here tonight. I know where you are at all times. I am your beloved father and I am well pleased with you”.
For the first time in my life I understood how God could love the unique individual that I am. I will be pondering this in my heart for a long time to come. I smile knowing that God is more than able and finds me among all the big kids.
This same concept has me thinking about the horses I worked with in Colorado. Each one was unique in personality and appearance. I as the wrangler knew their strengths, weaknesses, and abilities. Some of them had an amazing ability to climb steep mountain sides, some could jump our fences, and others were our gentle giants carrying scared campers on their backs. As different as each of the horses were, us wranglers, knew each one by name.
God knows me by name. He knows my strengths, weaknesses, gifts, and talents. He sees me as I could see Maddie. He is indeed the Good Shepherd!