January - 10 - Thursday

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name.
Isaiah 43:1

It often happens that a text from the Bible that one has learnt in one's childhood has proved an invaluable help in a crisis in later life. This was the case with a woman burdened with misery who one night stood on a high bridge shivering from cold. That bridge was to be the terminal station of her life. Everything seemed senseless to her, so that she hoped that jumping into the river would put an end to her misery.

She was suddenly arrested by a thought: “I have called you by your name.” Where did that come from? No-one had spoken to her. “Called me by my name?” Who had said that to her?

And whoever could be interested in her at that moment?

She sensed that she had lost the courage to jump out of despair. That actually annoyed her.

But her mind was working fast. Supposing what she had learnt as a child were true, that everyone must appear before God to give an account before Him.

It is indeed true. So it is no escape to throw away one's life. The thought of death as a merciful state of oblivion is perilous deception. “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment!” (Hebrews 9:27).

There is a way of escape, and that woman found it. She prayed: “God, if you have any interest in me, then let me know!” And she experienced it. The Saviour Jesus Christ, says, “Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). With Him we find forgiveness of our guilt, rest for a troubled heart and a new start for a hitherto senseless life.