“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet.”
Juliet Capulet, that poor girl caught in the skirmish of warring families and some really awful growing pains, had a pretty profound point. What is in a name?
When I was little, I had no real attachment to the name Rachel, sure it was my mother’s favorite name for girls, and I really liked my mother. But, why not Lacy (like my best friend) or Brittany (Brittanys were always pretty)? What was in my name? Why did it matter that my name was Rachel?
It was a little plastic bookmark placed in a generic 10th birthday card that revealed this great mystery to me —“Rachel, in Hebrew, means ‘Ewe’ or ‘Little Lamb.’” A lamb, that’s weird, was all my 10-year-old brain could exclaim. It meant very little to me then.
But, as I grew in my relationship with the Lord, He taught me in His incredibly astute wisdom that He had a plan all along. He knew me at my very moment of creation Psalm 139:13 and He knew my little tender heart today. He knew my clumsiness, He knew my insecurities, and He knew that my soul would long for Him as a little lamb longs for her shepherd.
It was in recognizing the meaning of my name that I understood it was okay to embrace all of those annoying and sometimes endearing things about myself — because they are mine. And the Lord loves me so specifically that He assigned this very special designation for a reason.
As God inspires our parents, to assign our name, to bring light to who we are, we look to the meaning of God’s own name to know Him better. For some, it requires a little more digging than others to understand our own names — thanks hipster parents.
But, lucky for us, God has left us many names in Sacred Scripture to discover who He is. And the most riveting part of all is that His names are perfect for He perfectly embodies all of them.
He is Jesus, Savior, Lord of Lords, Alpha and Omega, The Word, Bread of Life, The Way, Truth & Life, Chief Cornerstone, Immanuel, Light of the World, Creator and Redeemer, King, Mediator, Teacher, Shepherd, Son of God, and Father.
He is ours.
I pray your heart grows for our King as we learn more about Him. May we learn more than just the meaning of His name, but who He is and why He loves us so. Praise Jesus for this adventure.
Now, let us journey together!