There was a little girl that had a huge heart for animals. She was always making attempts to rescue the neighborhood cats, or adopt another hamster from the pet store when she and her mom would go.
One day, she and her mother were out running errands, getting food for the dogs, the critters, and themselves. This particular day, the little girl, as usual, went to look at the small pets: rats, mice, gerbils, Guinea pigs, and of course, hamsters.
Lo and behold she convinced her mother to adopt a little girl hamster and take her home.
There was one small dilemma, though: this little hamster did not have a name, yet, and they hadn’t thought of one, either.
From the pet store, they went across the shopping center to the grocery store. In the checkout line, the cashier had a Rolodex of the names and item numbers of everything from vegetables to spices. The little girl, not ever reply adopting any sense of inhibition or shyness, had an idea she would act upon: while they were conversing with the cashier, she reached up and spun the Rolodex and planted her index finger on a word, in hopes to find a name for her new little treasure.
It fit! The little critter looked just like the word. They took Cinnamon and their groceries home.
What’s in a name?
I’ve been fascinated by this, the importance of a name on a life. I believe a lot can be said about the effect a person’s name can have on their identity .. And I am not just talking about if kids at school will brutally tease the individual or if others will be able to pronounce or spell it correctly. I’m talking about core identity type of stuff.
In the Bible, we see many instances where the meaning of names were regarded as important. A great example is Jacob, who wrestled with a spiritual being and came out with a different name given to him, the name, Israel. Jacob means, “that supplants, undermines, the heel,” or, “He grasps the heel.” Israel means, “Triumphant with God,” or, “who prevails with God.” Hm, interesting, right? Those are two very different meanings.
There are other occurrences in the Bible that shows God changing names: think of Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, Simon to Peter, Saul to Paul. In each of these instances that God Himself gave a new name, He gave it with the intention of an identity change. The core of who these people truly were and were meant to be came forth through their names.
In the conversation of identity, have you searched meaning in your name? What does it say about you? Is it true? Does God have another name for you? Revelation 2:17 tells us, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.”
Interesting: let us seek out and hear what the Spirit says to the church, let us overcome, and eat hidden manna (Word and revelation from God Himself, right?) given to us .. And let us receive a white stone (reminds me of Christ being the cornerstone, all sins being washed clean from scarlet to white as snow) and in it a new name written for us, which we won’t know unless we receive it (seek it out and confirm it in our spirit with His Spirit).
I don’t know if that means for you or I as individuals to go out and legally change our name in our state or country. But, I do get very excited about finding out all that God has to say about me. I do believe He was more intentional about it than the little girl with her spice/vegetable roulette choice of name for her new pet.
How about you? Thoughts? I’d love to hear!