Juliet asked “What’s in a name?” in the Shakespeare play, “Romeo and Juliet.” She was not allowed to associate with Romeo because of his name as he was a Montague. Juliet also said his name was meaningless because she believed he would still be the same man even if he had a different name. However, names are significant. If you have any doubt just listen to parents discuss how they decided on the full name of their baby before the big arrival.
Take into account the names of God. There are many that describe who He is. Here are a few. Elohim means He is the creator. Jehovah Raah means the Lord is our Shepherd. Jehovah Jireh means the Lord will provide. Abba means He is our spiritual daddy, which is my favorite. Probably, the most well known name for God is El-Shaddai which means He is sufficient, or He is…Enough.
Nonetheless, to experience God’s “enough-ness”, you and I must step down and realize our own insufficiency. Oh the pride and deception of self-sufficiency! We innately want to do it all ourselves. No help needed. We look back at ourselves or the project we completed with a Cheshire grin and think “I did that”.
I miss the days when our daughters were toddlers. They never hesitated to hold up both of their arms. Either my wife or I would pick them up. That is what Grace is. You’ve tried it all. You may have even royally screwed up intentionally. You cry “Help!” then Grace comes, even though it is not deserved. You have to realize your emptiness before you can receive Grace.
Grace came for me when I was simultaneously going through a broken engagement with the makings of an ulcer in my stomach as well as an empty bank account due to uncertain vocational plans and dreams. I definitely lost my footing during that time and some weight.
Looking back at those personal upheavals some 28 years ago, I held both hands up in prayer constantly. I had nothing left. God picked me up. He held me. He washed me off. He whispered his still small voice. He walked me through paths of uncertainty. He was and is Enough. God provided for me even when I doubted I had a future. One of my favorite quotes from Philip Yancey nails it: “Faith, I’ve concluded, means believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse”. (taken from The Question That Never Goes Away)
What if you think you have asked for help a little too much? Poet Nancy Spiegelberg wrote “Lord, I crawled across the barrenness to You with my empty cup uncertain in asking any small drop of refreshment. If only I had known You better I’d have come running with a bucket.”
God told the nation of Israel that He owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10b NLT) Do you believe God’s love and resources are limitless even though your circumstances are lacking?
pictures courtesy of “Nelson & his Nikon”.