Ever read the Dale Carnegie book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”? He says, “There’s no sweeter sound to one’s ear than the sound of his/her name.”  Your name has meaning. Even nicknames. Nicknames are said to be the most endearing, almost like a shared secret. Like Sting. Lead singer of the Police. They gave him that name because he liked to wear yellow and black shirts. Besides, Sting sounds a bit cooler than his real name, Gordon Sumner.

I think of the story in the Bible, Mark 5, where Jesus goes out of his way to meet up with a demon-possessed man. (true!) “And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

A name means that you’re more than a social security number, or an ID at college. Jesus was always concerned with names.  I find it interesting that Jesus is making a point to show this man that he matters by asking a name.  Jesus was searching for the man that was hidden inside this tormented body.

Years ago, I came out of a dark time in life. I had made some poor decisions and wondered if God could repair it. I even doubted whether I was worth fixing.

I remember, through that time, I asked my wife why she kept believing in me. I will never forget her words, “I knew you were in there“.

I was tormented with guilt and shame. Oh that Shame thing… not healthy! But my wife, and others, spoke life into me and helped me realize that I could turn it around. Reminding me that I really do matter.

You’re more than the sum of your poor choices. Jesus – and me – we know you matter. You’re loved and have purpose. Your name matters. You’re not just a number, a data point, a nobody.

Have you ever felt like you were facing something so large and overwhelming that you doubted God could handle it?  A time when the circumstances or challenge seemed to outweigh what you thought God could do?

If you’re living in what you feel is a mess today, and think it is too big, this story reminds us that Jesus sees you and I in our mess, and he will walk with you and me as we go through it.

YOU matter! GO make a difference. ALWAYS run by faith!