1 a : a word or phrase that constitutes the distinctive designation of a person or thing
b : a word or symbol used in logic to designate an entity
2 : a descriptive often disparaging epithet <called him names>
3 a : REPUTATION <gave the town a bad name>
b : an illustrious record : fame <made a name for himself in golf>
c : a person or thing with a reputation
"The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
the righteous run to it and are safe."
We have learned so many names this year. I have gotten to know new Wycliffe friends, ladies from Bible Study Fellowship and our church, and women in a local book club and German club. Isaac has learned the names of professors, classmates and key figures in the field of Reformation history. We have grown to know our church family members, popular locales in Denton and the talk show hosts on NPR.
Catching up with Downton Abbey has presented name-learning opportunities [Isaac: "Who is that again?" / Me: *eye roll*]. Dear friends and family have had and named babies (my sister's is still on the way!), and we have continued dreaming our list of potential names for our future children [Isaac: "What about Hieronymus?" / Me: *blank stare* / Isaac: "Polycarp?"].
In the midst of this name-learning, I have also been a student of some other names...
Jehovah-shalom ~ the God of Peace
Jehovah-mekkadishkem ~ the Lord who Sanctifies Me
Elohim ~ the Creator God
El Shaddai ~ the All-Sufficient One
Jehovah ~ the Self-Existent One & our Covenant God
Adonai ~ the Lord and Master
Jehovah-rapha ~ the Lord Who Heals
El Roi ~ the God Who Sees
At first I set out to study them for the sake of knowledge. Surely a missionary should be able to rattle off the names of God, right? In the process, however, each of these names has become so sweet and so precious to me this year as he has shown me who he is.
He is not as I think he is. He is as he is. I so easily forget that.
It is through these names that he is restoring me and making me whole. Through these names he is a breeze to my dankness and a candle to my darkness that longs for light. As the author of Proverbs had so well learned, his name is most certainly safe and strong.
I am so thankful to El Elyon, the Sovereign Most High, for Camden, Abigail, Lainey, Lydia, Angie, Sarah, Leslee, Heidemarie, Renate, Britta, Christiane, Janet, Sandra, Beverley, Laura and so many more whose names I have learned for the first time this year. Over the course of the next few months we will be privileged to learn even more names. In July we will return to Germany to learn new names of staff and students whose names have been learned while we were away. How good to know that there is one name that will always remain the same. Praise to that name!