“Mommmmmmmm, you’ve got it wrong!” Jake admonished.
“Again?” I smiled sheepishly.
“Mommmmmmmm, you need to get it right,” Jake exhorted. “I’m Jake, NOT Caleb.”
Indeed, Jake, indeed. There’s no one like you, I thought to myself. I had misnamed my child again. My address to my second-born son missed its mark as I voiced the name ‘Caleb’ my third-born, instead of Jake, for the umpteenth time!
“Let me try again,” I offered.
“Jake, would you like me to cut you a piece of brownie cake?” I asked.
“That’s better, Mom,” Jake affirmed. “And Mom, be careful next time. I’m Jake.”
“I’ll try,” I responded. However, in all honesty, I can’t promise not to call Jake by someone else’s name in our family. My mouth and my brain disconnect at times. Some kind of neurotransmitter misfiring occurs and before I know it I have worked my way through a whole slew of family names before I finally land on the correct one! It’s a good thing we don’t have a dog or another type of pet – otherwise I’m sure Jake would be called its name at some point. And be assured of this, Jake would not like that!
That’s not who he is – he’s Jake. Period. End of story.
Jake’s desire to be known by his name and his redressing mannerism is definitely tied to his autism. His abrupt insistence that I ‘get his name right’ flies in the face of the fact that his father and I gave Jake his name in the first place. It’s not that we don’t know his name, for goodness sake. Yet, Jake has a subconscious need for perfectionism – so misnaming him from time to time definitely works against this innate desire. Thus, I am reprimanded often when I call Jake by any other name.
However, believe it or not, Jake is making a phenomenal point when he tells me to get his name right. After all, it is a wonderful honor and blessed privilege to be known – and known intimately well.
Isaiah agrees with Jake, Isaiah wrote:
But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are mine.”
New International Version, Isaiah 43: 1-2
Paul emphasizes Jake’s contention to Timothy in his letter:
Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his….
New International Version, 2 Timothy 2:19
The Apostle John supports Jake, too. John recorded the words of his Savior, Jesus Christ:
The sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out….
New International Version, John 10:3
Like I said, Jake has this name-calling thing completely straight in his mind. And heart. Jake’s name matters.
Jake is known by the Son of God, the Good Shepherd, who leads Jake forward in life with a profoundly intimate and deeply affectionate calling. Isn’t that something? Jesus gets Jake’s name right – as He guides Jake towards eternal life with Him and our Lord and Father God. And what’s more – no time, situation, space, position, influence nor any misfiring neurotransmitter will prevent Jesus from getting Jake’s name right either. Jesus knows Jake.
The same is true for you and me, too.
Jesus knows our name.
Not only that, Jesus knows our inner thoughts, our personality and character, our likes and dislikes, our strengths and weaknesses, our deepest desires and our most vulnerable fears and just like Jake, Jesus knows what we need most – to be known and loved.
Jesus is calling us out of the myriad of situations we may find ourselves to be led by Him into the loving, affectionate, and restful presence of our Heavenly Father.
Jesus doesn’t go through one name after another before He addresses us correctly, He says our name clearly and dearly. And when He does – we hear and we follow, don’t we? His invitation by name declares His love, acknowledges His acceptance, affirms our significance, and proclaims our infinite worth.
Yes, Jesus gets our name right – even when we don’t get others’ right – or even God’s name right. Because there are times when we don’t – we forget the power, strength, love and awe of God’s mighty name.
The name of the Lord is a fortified tower;
the righteous run to it and are safe.
New International Version, Proverbs 18:10
Like I said, Jake’s got this name-thing totally correct! In a world which is filled with danger, fear, worries, and too many unknowns to count, we need to hold onto the assuring, strengthening, blessed name of our Lord.
His Presence will steady us.
His Power will embolden us.
His Character will encourage us.
His Love will bless us.
His Holiness will astonish and humble us.
His Peace will enfold us.
His Joy will hearten us.
His Strength will sustain us.
His Salvation will save us.
My son, Jake, understands the importance and significance of his name. When Jake’s name is expressed, Jake knows he is remembered, known and loved.
Jesus gets Jake’s name right – the first time and every time.
He does the same for you and me – calling us by name into the eternal arms of our loving, grace-giving God.
And our God asks us to interact with Him, too – He encourages us to call Him by name each day – not only for what we may need but to know Him intimately well, too.
Yes, indeed, Jake has this name-thing right.