Friday, September 23, 2016

A Forever Name (What's in a Name, Part 3)

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of His household.
- Ephesians 2:19

Do you ever feel like someone, or even a whole group of people, simply does NOT “get” you?  Conversely, can you think of a time and how you felt when your soul truly connected with another and you felt known, understood and loved, at least in those brief moments?  This is the direction we are heading in today…

In the first post in this “What’s in a Name” series, we examined the significance and life-giving power in a name, and how we are adopted into Jesus’ own family.  In the second post, I shared about a weighty piece of my healing that came with changing my name a couple years following my son Warren’s death. 

In this final post in the series, I want to talk about our forever names. 

Do you know that you actually have another name picked out for you by Jesus?  We are “more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37), and some day, through Christ’s power and redemptive work, we will overcome this life’s trials and brokenness.  The Lord will bring His Kingdom to full fruition and will give us a new name written on white stone (Revelation 2:17).  A name that Christ has chosen, just for YOU, that will be revealed when all is made new, when we see our Lord face to face. 

As healing as adding Warren back into my name was, the hole and pain obviously remain.  This redemptive part of my journey provides a mere glimpse of what is to come.  One of the many lifelines of hope the Lord gives us while we continue to labor for Him in a broken world, at times feeling lost within our own swirl of unrealized dreams and failings.  However, when we receive our new names from the Lord, we will know that the final tear has been wiped away.

Y'all, this name is like the best kept secret in the entire world!  It will be known only to you and the Lord – a sacred love gift for you.  When we are called by this name, I imagine we will recognize it immediately. In that one word, we will feel both known and loved – 100% and not just in that moment but in the eternal sense.  As though Someone truly and finally “gets” us for the very first time, more than we even “get” ourselves.  Moreover, I imagine we will intrinsically know that this name fully embodies our very essence in our redeemed state, covered by the blood of the Lamb as God sees us. 

Can you imagine a name that resonates with the deepest parts of your being, fulfilling your deepest yearnings?  God can.  And this name waits for you.

While my new name, Mary Elizabeth Warren Stone, helps and provides some balm on a still broken heart, I cannot wait for the day when the final tear is wiped away.  When Jesus makes all things new.  When I am given that white stone bearing my new name and representing full healing and full union with my Lord and Savior.  What a joyful day that will be!

While at the beach earlier this summer, we were in the northeast which is not our norm.  This beach had rocks all over it  also not our typical beach experience.  I had already been thinking about all of this at that time, as God had encouraged me with these promises and pointing me to Revelation 2:17.  Well, wouldn't you know, we found not one but several PURE, WHITE stones out on the beach!  Of course we had to take some pictures and bring them home.  They are set out, serving as a reminder of the great hope and great God we have.

Praise be to God for bringing us out of darkness and separation and adopting us into His family, giving us His name, and promising that, some day, we will stand alongside Him as those who have overcome.  Our permanent name for our eternal home will be bestowed upon you.  Yes, Someone “gets” you, every inch.  And even in that knowledge (which can be terrifying if you dwell on it), you are dearly and deeply loved. 

There is hope amidst the loss and darkness we all feel and fear.  A further and fuller healing, along with a forever name, awaits. 

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you.
I have called you by name;
You are mine.
-Isaiah 43:1b

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