“The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name.” John 10:3
I can almost hear him now. It’s as if it were yesterday. Dad would cuddle me in his arms and say, “My Mary,” and I would feel so special and so loved.
Dad died many years ago, much too young, at the age of 53 from the ravages of cancer, my handsome, meticulous father, who was always so particular about his looks; many, in fact, say he resembled the
Hollywood legend Clark Gable.
I’ll never forget seeing him lying in his hospital bed just before that cold and dismal day in November, a remnant of the man he once was. I would have given anything for him to be able to say, “My Mary.” But he never would again.
Years later, one day in prayer, I sought God’s comfort at a time when the responsibilities of life seemed just too much for me to handle. All of a sudden, I heard my name – I heard, “My Mary.” And I knew it was my heavenly Father reaching down to me with His infinite love and comfort. I’ve heard those words several times since. Perhaps I’m conjuring them up in my mind, just wanting to relive moments from the past with my earthly father. I don’t know for sure.
But one thing I do know. God tells me in His Word that He calls His sheep by name. In Isaiah 49:1, He says, “Before I was born the Lord called me; from my birth he has made mention of my name.” He is that intimate with His children. It’s as if He reaches down with His loving arms and cuddles us, and calls us each by name.
I’m confident that when I’m ushered into heaven, God will reach out His arms and welcome me with the words, “My Mary.” And I can picture Dad, once again young but now in perfect health, waiting not too far behind, with his arms outstretched, his lips forming those treasured words.
Dear heavenly Father, thank you that you love your sheep so intimately that you call each one of us by name. And thank you for the promise that we will be reunited with precious loves ones when we leave this world and come to spend eternity with you.