My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me (John 10:27, NASB).
When do we begin learning to recognize voices? My younger daughter, Cait, taught me the answer shortly after her birth.
She had been born in the wee hours of September 30th, and I was exhausted from the excitement of welcoming her into the world. When the nurses volunteered to keep her while I indulged in a quick afternoon nap, I assumed that she would also sleep. However, after I awoke and made my way down the hall, I could hear an impatient wail growing louder with each approaching step. Although her cry was still brand new to my ears, I was shaken with the sudden realization that this was my baby crying, pleading for her mommy. Must admit, I felt a little guilty.
Then my newborn taught me an amazing lesson. As I began conversing with the nurses, she turned her head toward me and silenced her cries. She found that trusted voice, the one she had grown to recognize and love as soon as her ears were able to hear in the womb. As I spoke to her, she wiggled and cooed out those adorable gurgles, pacified that she was now safe with Mommy, and we bonded completely from that moment.
Isn’t it like that with the Lord? As His children, we come to know and love our good shepherd’s voice.
Imagine being encased in this world, just like a baby in her mother’s womb. We hear Jesus’s voice and learn to recognize and trust Him as He speaks to us through His Word and the Holy Spirit who lives within us. Even before entering His kingdom, we know Him.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then, face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known (I Corinthians 13:12, NASB).
Just as a baby delights in pairing together her mother’s voice and face, we will do the same after we’re born into His kingdom. Won’t it be a glorious day when we can match that trusted voice with His wonderful face, as He holds us, safe and secure, in His arms for all eternity?
What will He speak to us on that day? As a mother croons her newborn’s name over her child, will He also over us? As we prepare to meet our soon-coming Lord, we can only imagine.