Who are you? Really?
My teenage daughter came to me with a fistful of mail while laughing her head off. “What’s so funny?” I asked. She said, “Someone sent a letter to the Reverend James Johnson.” “So?” She said, “Well you aren’t a Reverend.”
I said, “I am too! That’s one of the titles that a pastor is given.” She said, “But not you!” So, we argued until it was pointless.
But she also brought in her school report card for the first six-week term. Being the devious daddy that I am, this parent signed her card, “Reverend James R. Johnson.”
I enjoyed myself so much that when I was asked to sign it again for the next 6-week term, I tried something different. “James R. Johnson-man of the cloth.” And so on, it went with a different and exaggerated title for all six terms.
We all have a variety of titles by which we are known. Some are based on our occupation: “Joe is a carpenter.” “Gina is an engineer.” As for me, there was a time my business card should have read “Llama Keeper.” (seriously)
Some of us identify based on our hobbies. Some are gamers while other gardeners.
And what about politics? “He’s a Republicrat.”
We are also titled by our relationships. We are mommies and daddies, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, sons and daughters and of course “Grandmas and Grandpas.”
In fact, there is an amazing relational identification found in Isaiah 43:1. I love it! Isaiah wrote, “Don’t be afraid, for I will protect you. I call you by name – you are mine.” NET Bible ®
That last phrase is dynamite. The Lord spoke to His people and said, “You are mine.” That is who you are. You are mine: a statement of who we belong to – but also of who we are.
In this country we elect presidents, not first ladies. Yet, the first lady makes the White House her home and flies first-class on-Air Force One. She has her own staff and is surrounded by an army of secret service protectors. She is interviewed by news anchors, honored by heads of state, celebrated by millions and treated to a pampered life.
All this, only, because she is his, the wife of the president of the United States of America.
Good for her, but her perks do not begin to compare with ours because we belong to the Creator, the sustainer of this universe. (Isaiah 40:28) We belong to the author of all grace and mercy. (Hebrews 4:16)
We belong to the one who “owns the cattle on a thousand hills.” (Psalm 50:10) We belong to the one who “gives to His beloved even in their sleep.” (Psalm 127:2) We are blessed beyond measure to be called “His.”
So that you know, one day the titles that define us will be no more. In eternity, we won’t be known as daddy or chaplain, or sister or the llama keeper. BUT, we will always and forever be known as His. Always!
And I believe that He will frequently remind us of it just as He did in Isaiah 43:1, “You are mine!”
There is a wonderful but seldom sung hymn, “I am His and He is Mine” by George Robinson. The last verse goes like this.
His forever, only His; Who the Lord and me shall part?
Ah, with what a rest of bliss Christ can fill the loving heart!
Heav’n and earth may fade and flee,
Firstborn light in gloom decline,
But while God and I shall be, I am His, and He is mine;
But while God and I shall be, I am His, and He is mine.
Amazing! Maybe the next time I sign a report card, I’ll simply write, “I am His.”
A PRAYER: Lord I am grateful that I need not wander and wonder who I am anymore.
This has been Jim Johnson with pickleheavenpress.com
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.