Looking the sweet young woman right in the eyes, my three-year-old asked, “Do you know what my name means?” Befuddled, my acquaintance shook her head as Lizzy continued, enunciating each syllable as if it were golden. “My name means ‘CON-SUH-CRAY-DUD to GAWD.’” Then, in hushed tones, as if not to embarrass our tea mate, Lizzy asked, “Do you know what consecrated means?”
Shocked by my little one’s verbiage, the young woman responded in broken English, “No, Miz Liz, I done know dat word.”
“Oh!” Lizzy responded, thrilled with the opportunity to expound, “It’s just a big fancy way of saying that when I was borned, my mom and dad gave me to Jesus!” Then, climbing up on the lovely woman’s lap and leaning in close to whisper in her ear, Lizzy compassionately asked, “Don’t you wish you were an Elizabeth, too?” I couldn’t contain my grin as the eyes of my hostess sparkled with uncharacteristic laughter. And as I quietly sipped my tea, I could think of no name more fitting for my first-born girl.
If the simple meaning of my daughter’s name could minister unaware to a young woman in need of a Savior, surely the very name of Jesus can minister to the unspoken needs of our own frantic hearts. His birth announcement, written by the divinely inspired prophet Isaiah seven centuries before the angels proclaimed his arrival, predicts a few of the names Christ would carry: …And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace…. (Isaiah 9:6). Sound satisfying? That is just a small sampling of the smorgasbord of heavenly titles our Savior has been given. Hundreds of other names can be found for Heaven’s King throughout scripture. In The Power of a Praying Woman, author Stormie O’Martian reminds us, “Each of God’s names in the Bible represents a way He wants us to trust Him. Do you trust Him to be your Strength (Psalm 18:1)? Is He your Peace (Ephesians 2:14)? Is He the Lifter of Your Head when you are down (Psalm 3:3)? Is He your Refiner (Malachi 3:2-3)? Your Wisdom? (1 Corinthians 1:24)? Your Counselor? (Psalm 16:7)? Your Resting Place? (Jeremiah 50:6)....”
What do you need most in this new year? The One whose name was declared by the angels and whispered in awe by a humble teenage mother from Nazareth has a name to meet your need. If you’ve already begun making lists for the new year- resolutions, to-dos or simply a grocery list or two- why not take some time to savor the list of our Savior’s names. Grab a concordance (the one in the back of your Bible will work) and look up “Names of God.” Or peruse the Psalms and note all the ways that the Psalmist refers to the Lord. King David, a man after God’s own heart knew his Creator by countless titles. In fact, David’s deep faith seemed to grow out of his first-name relationship with God. “Those who know your name will trust in you,” King David tells the Lord in Psalm 9:10. If you’re ready to bolster your faith in 2010, check out the many names for the One whose birth we just celebrated with Christmas trees and presents. As you do, you might be surprised to find a name that was chosen with you in mind.
Today's Treasure: "But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved," Joel 2:32a