God, The Name-Changer


I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since my last post. When I began this blog in the fall of 2013 I had every intention to post at least once a week. There have been a few weeks when the busyness of life got in the way, but I was able to post twice the following week. Fellow bloggers will understand when I say that sometimes…sometimes…writers need to take a break. The every day of life can either be a blessing or a curse, a roadblock or an open road, a motivator or a hindrance. Sometimes the thoughts don’t come, the words don’t flow, the inspiration doesn’t materialize.

January and a new year tends to make me want to evaluate my life…what I’ve done, where I’ve gone, how my walk with the Lord has progressed. In all honesty, in this self-evaluation, I can do myself a lot of harm if I don’t keep a proper perspective. Thank goodness the Word has a way of helping me stay proper.

I was reading in the second chapter of John this morning and received a wonderful reminder from God. He is in the name-changing-business.

When Peter met Jesus for the first time, Jesus took one look at him and said,

” ‘You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas’ (which is translated Peter).” John 2:42

Jesus would later confirm Peter’s new name in Matthew 16:18,

“And Jesus said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Barjona…I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church…” 

I began to think of what I’ve learned about Peter in Scripture…he was impetuous, he often acted before considering, spoke before thinking, denied before remembering. He was a man of passion. I wonder if he was a sanguine like me, with a little bit of drama going on that sometimes got him into trouble.

And yet…and YET! Jesus took one look at him the first time He saw him and looked into his very heart. Jesus saw a rock!

And I can’t help but be full of wonder…

Jesus doesn’t see me for who I am at the moment of encounter. He sees me for what I will become. Peter had a long way to go before he would actually live up to his new name. The Christian walk is a journey and the road to sanctification (being set apart for God, being made holy by conforming to the image of Jesus) is a process, but I can’t give up on myself because Jesus doesn’t give up on me! If Jesus believes in me then I can trust what He sees!

God never gives up on me. He never gives up on you. He never abandons the work of His hands. Jesus gives me the power to become the person He wants me to be. I can’t help but wonder what my “new” name is.

I remember when I was a young girl asking my mother what my name meant. “Little girl”, she said.

At the time, “little girl” seemed okay because that’s what I was, but as I grew up I wanted it to mean something more. I can’t even begin to describe to you how I felt the day I did a little digging and researching into other meanings of my name and discovered that in Hebrew my name means “Grace.” I cried. In fact, the tears are flowing right this very moment at the thought.

Nina, with a long i, means grace. And I wonder…does God really see me as a woman of grace? Oh, how I hope He does. It would be one of my greatest joys.

God is in the name-changing-business because God is in the heart-changing-business. Names were very significant in biblical times. Names were very significant to God and He often changed the names of those who would turn their hearts toward Him. Their new names became reflections of their new nature. Abram became Abraham. Sarai became Sarah. Jacob became Israel.

Simon became Peter.

The Little Girl became Grace.

When I think back over the past year of my life, I may not be where I want to be. YET. That’s okay. Jesus meets me where I am and takes a good look at my heart. He sees me…where I’ve been, what I’ve done, how I’ve progressed in my walk with The Father. Thank goodness I’m not where I started when I first encountered Jesus. I guess you could say, I’ve come a long, long way, baby!

Thank goodness Jesus sees me for what I am becoming…thank goodness.

As for my new name…I can’t wait until I see Jesus face-to-face on streets of gold and hear Him call my name. It’s a name He has chosen just for me and you know what else I think?

I think Jesus knew when He first saw me that eventually I would live up to my name. And the tears flow…

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