Names are significant. For this reason, I believe that they should be given purposefully. I figure if names were not important, God would not have bothered himself with changing the names of prominent figures like Abraham (Abram), Sarah (Sarai) and Israel (Jacob) in the Bible. On a slightly personal note, I had a love hate relationship with my name. I loved my name because it was simple, and moving to another country, an already shy girl would not have to deal with the awkward conversations struck up by strangers about pronunciation. On the flip side, I hated my name because it was common. It seemed every 1 in 5 persons I met was named Michelle. How unoriginal 🧐! But then, I noticed God’s extra attention to names, and thought to find out the meaning of mine. To my delight, it means who is like God? I see it like this. A reminder of God’s sovereignty, because in truth, there is no one like Him. And if I believe that this same God formed me, then I must also believe that I am an original. A unique display of His artistry. Still one of a kind, in a sea of a thousand namesakes, under the umbrella of God the Father. That was the turning point for me. It was all love from then on.
I have been meditating on Jesus’ names, all of which are noteworthy. But one in particular has had a recurring feature in my current season in life.
IMMANUEL. God with us, which I have personalized to God with me. Note that there is no prescribed timeline, or end date. His name indicates relevance in our past, present and future, meaning that His presence is constant, ever-lasting. Wouldn’t you agree that there is comfort in knowing that we are never alone, even and especially on those days we feel invisible.
As I studied further, words like rest, peace, acceptance, direction, protection, victory came to mind, all promises attached to His name. If I may, I would like to share with you some of the verses I have been meditating on. Please feel free to share others that you come across in your study.
I am with you, and will keep you wherever you go and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you. |Gen. 28:15|
My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest. |Ex. 33:14|
I will make my dwelling among you, and my soul will not reject, nor separate itself from you. |Lev. 26:11|
Jesus came and stood in their midst. |John 20:26|
Lo, I am with you always, till the very end of the age. |Mat. 28:20|
My prayer for you today, and for always is that you overflow with confidence in His promises, and that the entrance of His words cast out all doubt, insecurity and fear, and in its place, brings hope, peace and rest. He is faithful to His word, and is with you, even right now in your corner of the world, whether snuggled up on your couch, roaming the streets, sprawled on a beach, commuting, lunching, cooped up in a cell, sitting on a therapist’s chair and whatever other presenting scenario there is. You are never alone. Never.
Immanuel. God (is) with you. Talk to Him.