By Pam Horton
I am hearing lots of people talking about the isolation of “social distancing.” Aloneness and depression are real. Feelings of insignificance tend to creep into our thought process. Our self-talk turns negative as we wonder if anyone remembers us or even cares to stay in touch.
I was reading about Zacchaeus, the tax collector, in Luke 19:1-10. Talk about feeling insignificant! He was of smaller stature and a tax collector, yet when Jesus came to town, Zacchaeus desired to see him. The crowd was so large that Zacchaeus climbed up in a tree. Who, but the Lord, would be looking up into the trees amidst a large, adoring crowd? As He walked by, Jesus turned and looked up at Zacchaeus and… called him by name.
Yes, Jesus knew all about him. Zacchaeus may have seemed insignificant to those who knew him, perhaps he even felt insignificant, but the Son of God knew his name. That had to make his heart swell.
You see, when I was learning my faith, I knew John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Sure, I understood that. God so loved the world, everybody. When you think of yourself as a piece of everybody, you may feel as if you are lost in the large, adoring crowd. If you read your Bible and dig a little deeper, you discover Luke 12:7 New King James Version (NKJV) “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows,” and that God knew us before we were born (Psalm 139:13-16).
When you are going stir-crazy from pandemic social distancing, and feeling that you don’t matter, remember John 1:12 (NKJV), “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:”
You are a child of God, and a father knows his child’s name.
You are also a friend of Jesus, “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant, does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15 (NKJV). You may even want to recite John 3:16 and replace “the world” with “me.” It’s true, God so loved each one of us, collectively we are “the world,“ but He knows your name. Go ahead and make it personal.
If you are a music lover, you can listen to Francesca Battistelli’s song – “He Knows My Name,” or start singing that beloved Sunday school tune, “Zacchaeus was a wee little man and….“ Sing it with me!
Horton grew up believing in Jesus. As a teenager and young adult, she turned away from her faith for a few years. Once she came back around to understand that it’s not about religion, but a relationship, she began a never-ending quest to grow closer to God. Through this process, she has learned to stress less and choose joy. Pam has published seven nonfiction books that are available through Amazon. She has also written articles for the Military Counseling Initiative and Youth Worker, as well as being featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grandparents. Pam and her husband, Jim, own NewDirection Life Coaching, where they encourage others to move positively forward.