A New Name

Yesterday, I posted a list of 250 Questions to Ask God.  I've asked Him a few of these questions so far, sometimes not getting any answer at all.  But I want to share about one answer I did get.  One that makes me smile when I think of it.  


One morning, I was sitting there in prayer and looking at this list of questions to see which I should ask.  And I found this one, “Do You have a new name for me?”  That question seems so huge to me, so exciting to think that maybe God would have a meaningful name picked out for me that He might share with me.  (It also seemed a little silly to ask.  And a little scary ... because I might learn how God really saw me.)  


And so I prayed, “Lord, do You have a new name that You want to give . . .”  And even before I could finish the sentence, a name popped into my head.  It didn’t just vaguely float to the surface; it POPPED.  


And I have to admit, I was rather shocked.  I know God answers prayer and I am learning to discern His voice over my own thoughts; but I was surprised that it happened so quickly.  And funny enough, I was a little disappointed.  I didn’t expect it to be over so soon.  I thought that I would sit quietly with that question in prayer for a few minutes, the anticipation building, until God revealed the name to me.  Like opening a present on Christmas morning.  But – boom – there it was.


I knew that this name wasn’t from my own thoughts, because I hadn’t even been thinking about it.  I wasn’t even ready for it.  I hadn’t even finished my prayer.  And so considering all of that, I knew that this was the name God wanted to give me.  And it just so happened to be the name of a plant that I have always loved.  But I never would have pictured myself with that as a name.  It is much too frilly and fluffy and, frankly, ditzy for me.  It didn’t fit.  It wasn’t “me.”  While I loved this plant, it was a little bit of a disappointment and a wonder that this was how He saw me. 


And so I began trying to think about why God might have picked that name.  I began to explore the qualities and characteristics of that plant.  Maybe this name means that I am resilient like this plant?  Maybe God thinks I can bounce back easily?  Maybe it’s because it stands straight and tall?  On and on I went, thinking of how this name might fit me.  (None of which did seem to fit.)  


When I couldn’t come to any satisfactory explanation, I decided to pray about it.  “Lord, why did You give me this name?  What does it mean?”  And when I didn’t get an answer, I prayed it again.  


While the name came to me very quickly, the explanation did not.  I ended up praying this prayer for about two weeks before God answered it.


One morning, I was sitting in the car waiting to pick someone up when this prayer popped into my head again.  I had just about given up on the idea that God would give me special insight into this name, but I decided to pray again. 

 
“Lord, I know that this plant is really nothing special.  It’s actually more like a glorified weed.  But ... I don’t know why ... it just means so much to me anyway.  I just delight in it so much and it brings me so much joy.” 


And that’s when the answer hit me.  It wasn’t a voice or anything, but the clear sense that God was speaking this message to my heart and mind:


“Exactly!  The way you feel about this plant is how I feel about you.  You bring me so much joy and I delight in you so much.  You are My fill in plant name here!”  (I’m just saying “plant” here because I feel like the name is really just between me and God.  It means too much to me to share it with others.)


Since then, I have often thought fondly of this plant.  And every time I see one or a picture of one, I smile.  Because I am reminded of God’s love for me and that I mean something to Him, even if I usually feel like I’m “nothing special, just a weed, really.”  So even if God never answers another of these questions for me, this one answer has so enriched my days and my life.  


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