Guest column: Nicole Martin

This summer, I’ve been fascinated with an unexpected adventure: trying to find my name on a can of Coca-Cola.

Typically, summers are reserved for finding your name on a keychain at a souvenir store or on a random license plate from your favorite state. But this time, the search has intensified, leaving me thumbing through Coke bottles at gas stations, convenience stores and restaurants, hoping to see my own name.

There’s a great sense of joy that comes when you see your name printed someplace. At the same time, it’s pretty disappointing when your name doesn’t make the cut. Many people with unique names don’t even bother to look because if their names show up, they will most likely be misspelled.

What is it that fascinates us about finding our own names? Perhaps, finding your name adds a new layer of significance to your life. It feeds the need for recognition, even if the manufacturer has no idea who you are. When you find your name at random, it could instill a faint hope that you’ve been thought of, that someone knows you, and maybe, that somebody cares. While it may seem important, the search for your name reminds us of the fact that everyone longs to be known.

In a world filled with light acquaintances, it can feel at times that no one really knows your name. For someone to know your name is for someone to know who you really are. Names can be filled with meaning and significance. They can become small indicators of our purpose and shine a light on our personalities. Yet, not everyone will remember your name and not everyone will take time to know who you are.

No matter how simple or complex your name may be, it’s good to know that God knows each of us by name. In Isaiah 49:16, God reminds us that even though the people closest to us may forget, He will never forget us. In fact, He says, “Behold I have engraved you on the palms of my hands”. God loves us and knows us so well that each of our names is written on His hands.

The same hands that formed the land and the seas bear the letters of your name. More than a soda bottle, God’s hands are the vehicles for His blessings. With the hand of God upon them, many individuals have done amazing things. And yet, on these very same hands, God has engraved our names.

As if that were not enough, Jesus says that He not only knows His sheep, but calls them by name (John 10:3). The Savior of the world knows us so well that He calls our names and brings us closer to Him. More than hearing your name called by people on earth, there is no greater honor than to hear your name called by the Lord.

There are times in life when we may feel overlooked. When we don’t see our names where we think they should be, it’s easy to wonder if anyone cares. But, when you know that God knows and calls your name, you know that you matter to the One who matters most. After all, I guess it’s better to find your name in God than it is on a random can of Coke.