JUST CALL OUT HIS NAME
by Dale Reeves
Pastor of creative content
This morning my eleven-month-old grandson Luke clearly called me “Pop” for the first time. He was in his play yard, just chilling a little bit after my wife had fed him breakfast, but before he would go down for his morning nap. “Pop” was not my designated name of choice when people asked, “What will your grandkids call you?” I have been calling myself G-pa or G-paw, or when trying to get Luke to say it the past few months, I have pronounced it “G . . . . . pahhhhhhhh.” (“Watch my lips very carefully, Luke, and repeat after me.”) “G . . . . . pahhhhhhhh.” Kind of fits my Soul Train persona, don’t ya think? Similarly, my wife thought she might be called Mamaw, or maybe Mimi or even Gigi. We’re still waiting to see which one Luke wants her to be known as—or if he will come up with something entirely of his own choosing.
I grew up with one very formal “Grandfather” who was a farmer in Maysville, Kentucky, and one very informal southern down-home “Papa,” who resided in Carrollton, Georgia. When you think about the big G up in the sky, what do you call him? You may use a very formal name for God, or a very informal and intimate name—but no matter what you call him, I would urge you to call out to him on a regular basis. This past summer our teaching team for our high school ministry walked our teenagers through a number of the names for God we find in the Old Testament—names like El Shaddai, Jehovah Jireh, Jehovah Nissi, Jehovah Shammah, etc. And while there are many facets and character traits that comprise our understanding of our unfathomable God of the universe, at the end of the day, he just wants us to call out his name!
In Psalm 40:13, David the shepherd boy who would one day be king, cried out, “Please, Lord, rescue me! Come quickly, Lord, and help me” (NLT).
All the way back in the eighth century B.C., God sent a prophet named Joel to communicate these words, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Joel 2:32, NLT). And this promise from God is repeated several times in the New Testament.
All throughout the Bible, this idea of calling out to God when we are in trouble is prevalent. David was famous for getting himself in trouble, hiding in caves, fleeing from the enemies who pursued him . . . or just trying to watch sheep in their “play yard” and not doze off to sleep.
When Luke called out to me “Pop” this morning, and lifted up his hands to be rescued or “saved” from his gated Superyard®, guess what I did? I quickly obliged. He can call me whatever he wants to as long as he calls for me to be there with him. I thought I understood more about God’s character when I became a dad for the first time. But now that I am a G-paw, or G-pahhhhh, or “Pop,” I think I get it even more.
Jesus referred to God as his “Abba, Father.” The word “Abba” is an Aramaic word that communicated a close, intimate relationship between a father and child—one based on affection, confidence, and mutual trust. The big G in the sky is most definitely all powerful, the Creator of the universe, and yet in the midst of his majesty and greatness, he still wants us to know how much he cares for his children.
What about you today? Anything you need to be rescued or saved from? You got any enemies chasing you? Have you been hiding in a cave somewhere and just need to come out for a breath of fresh air and some sunshine? What do you need to tell Abba, Father today? He’s not so concerned with what name you call him as he is that you do call out to him.
The prophet Jeremiah spoke these words: “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3, NIV).
He cares. He stands ready to pick you up. He’s ready to rescue you. He wants to save you. He’s waiting for you to call out his name.