I was thinking about something today, as I was digging down into the dirt, since it is always when I am working, focused on a task, that a new thought tends to poke its way into my consciousness. My thought was about numbers.
Numbers define us, almost without our knowing it. It starts when we are born. For instance, the day I was born I received two sets of numbers that would be a part of my identity for the rest of my life. I got a birthday and a social security number. My social security number is unique to me and marks my place as an American citizen. My birthday gives me another number — my age. Two other numbers were affixed to me at birth, although they did not stay the same over time. The nurses laid me down, weighed me, and measured me. And while those very first measurements mean little to me now, my height and weight are an important part of my existence today.
Now I have even more numbers attached to me, that mark out my life. There’s a number that denotes which house I live in. When I call my friend on the phone, although she sees my name and face, it’s my phone number that her phone recognizes. My bank knows me by my account number. My college lets me into the dining hall by the number on my student ID.
So what’s my point? Besides the thought exercise it afforded me while I was kneeling in the soil, why does it matter? It matters because God knows a number associated with me, and only me, too.
God knows the number of the hairs on my head.
Everyone else in the whole wide world can know the numbers that I can rattle off about myself. But only God knows the number of hairs that are on my head. Only He knows such an intimate, close detail of me — one that even I don’t know. And it’s the only number that doesn’t define me. It’s a number that defines God, and how greatly He cares for me. Because when people say that “I’m only a number on my college campus” they mean that their professors don’t know who they are. But when the Creator of the universe comes close enough to count the individual strands of hair that are on your head, you become more than just a number on a chart or one of countless faces in the audience. You become known by God.
And that’s infinitely special. It grabs deeply at my heart, when the numbers I carry around on my earthly frame fall away in the knowledge of my eternal identity. I have a soul that is not confined to the things easily seen or said about me. I have a soul that is laid bare before my Maker, who sees it and still chooses to come close and know every intricate detail of my existence. It’s a beautiful thing, and as I become aware of the magnitude of it, I am eternally thankful.