Pilgrimage of Prayer… A Name…

I have something on my mind…
No, it’s something in the back of my mind not quite in focus… it is a blurry, misty water-colored thought and yet, I can’t stop thinking about it. Don’t you hate that? You know something is bothering you but as to what, it’s not quite clear and for the life of you, you can’t nail it. Grrrr…

I have to admit that for some years, I have been a stuffer… you know, a person who acts like Scarlett O’Hara in the movie, Gone with the Wind… when facing trouble she exclaims, “I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow”… “Tomorrow is another day”.
You may have noticed my blind spot as I have been muddling around it, alluding to it, in the periphery of the posts over the last couple of days… but until today, the idea has been like fluffed up, puffed-up, milk sitting atop a strong cup of aromatic espresso, not blending, just sitting there patiently, waiting for His gentle hand to apply a lump of sugar and the stir stick…

My thoughts have been lingering on, returning to and struggling, as did Jacob and ‘the angel’ with the concept of a name. Names… what Is in a name? What does it mean really for the big picture; the importance or significance; is there a spiritual connection in it all… And maybe when it comes down to it, once we have dissected it, opened it up naked for all to see, we may see God there, looking back at us.
Yes, there it is … my struggle with ‘a name’.

Dr. Ken Hemphill in his book, “The Names of God”, postulates that names have spiritual significance and after creation, God asked Adam to name the animals.
“So the LORD took some soil and made animals and birds. He brought them to the man to see what names he would give each of them. Then the man named the tame animals and the birds and the wild animals. That’s how they got their names” (Genesis 2:19). And this is true and furthermore, I totally agree with Dr. Hemphill, names do have spiritual significance, but I think there is even more to it, hidden meaning perhaps that started in the very beginning of creation. God did encourage Adam to take part, a small part, I must say or otherwise you may think I am a heretic, in the creative act of creation by allowing him to name the birds and animals. And this is where I slightly differ with Dr. Hemphill. I believe that in naming a person, place or thing, we personify God’s character. From the very beginning of creation, God created and then He named.

“God said, “I command light to shine!” And light started shining. God looked at the light and saw that it was good. He separated light from darkness and named the light “Day” and the darkness “Night.” Evening came and then morning–that was the first day. God said, “I command a dome to separate the water above it from the water below it.” And that’s what happened. God made the dome and named it “Sky.” Evening came and then morning–that was the second day” (Genesis 1: 3-8).

It is in God’s character to name and as part of the creative act, significance is imparted with the name. God named the day and night. God named the sky. God names. Another example would be when He created man. After God created man in God’s image (Genesis 1:26), He brought Adam to the garden (Genesis 2: 15) made animals and brought them to him to “see what [Adam] would call them; and whatever he called a living creature, that was its name” (Genesis 2: 19).

This scenario in Genesis 2, intrigues me greatly. God brings Adam animals and watches ‘to see’ what Adam will name them. Fascinating! God is interested to watch the first, created man, name His creation. Very interesting… But don’t we do this with our children? We bring home a ‘pet’ maybe a puppy or kitten and then sit back and watch to see what they will name it. Or better still, when a new baby is on the way, we spend months and months discussing the name. Not any old name will do. It has to be a unique and special name that honors as well as describes the character we hope for them to have. Since we have been created in God’s image, it only stands to reason that we would also ‘name’ as well.

Names do mean something. Names represent hopes and dreams. Names are significant. We name because God name. We love because God loved first. God watched as you were being formed in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139: 13-15). God watched as you were being named.

I am praying for you… that you will discover God’s hopes and dreams for you.

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