Story of the Day for Friday May 11, 2012
Called God’s Friend
And he calls his own sheep by name.
I sometimes dream of an idyllic world where I take my car to an auto mechanic and he says, “Excuse me, but have we met before?” Unfortunately, my car guys call me by my first name, and if things get any worse we’ll be exchanging Christmas cards.
This morning my wife took our van into town to have the tires changed (in Montana studded tires are legal — but only until the end of May). I loaded the summer tires into the back of the van and sent her on her way. A couple of hours later, I got a phone call. The car guys told me I had the wrong size tires.
I found the right ones, drove the pickup down Pinkham Mountain, and brought them to my friendly car guy.
“Oh, hi Marty. It’s about time you brought the right tires.”
“So,” I asked Joey, “how long you think it’ll take to switch ’em?”
“Oh, give me a break!” he said. “First, I’m sittin’ around here waiting on you, and now you want to know how soon I’ll be done!”
I told him to quit his whining and made a veiled insinuation that the service industry was going to the dogs.
It was a gratifying moment. He felt comfortable enough to give me a hard time and I felt free enough to dish it back, and we both had a good laugh.
Can you imagine what would happen if Joey talked like that to a perfect stranger? The offended customer would’ve complained to the owner and Joey would now be selling herbal cures for hair loss on the internet.
When we know someone, we treat them differently than we do strangers.
If you want to get lost in a nameless crowd, you can’t do better than becoming a sheep. Gaze at a flock of sheep they all look like identical bags of wool.
But not to a shepherd. Shepherds in Palestine can distinguish every sheep in their flock and give names to each one. When a shepherd leads his flock to new pastures he can call them all by name.
When we trust in Jesus, our relationship changes. We’re no longer strangers. We belong to him, not because of how fast we can walk, but simply because when he calls our name we trust him enough to follow.
Once Abraham got into a “disagreement” with God. When God told Abraham he intended to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because of their wickedness, Abraham kept bargaining with God not to do it. I always felt Abraham was a little cheeky doing that.
But over the years I’m beginning to realize that Abraham could talk the way he did — not because he was disrespectful — but because he knew God so well. He was bold because of his faith.
No wonder the Bible says of Abraham: “and he was called God’s friend.”
(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)