Monday, April 4, 2011
Our Sunday School lesson and sermon today were titled ’What’s Your Name?” The question was taken from the account in Genesis when God asked this question to Jacob. By replying that his name was “Jacob,” which means “deceiver,” the patriarch acknowledged to God that he had lived a deceitful life. He had cheated his brother and tricked his father. This moment of self-honesty was a turning point for Jacob and God renamed him “Israel,” one who lives according to God’s purposes. After the re-birth he experienced when he turned to God, Israel lived with a new humility and courage.
This topic of naming and re-birth are so relevant to me this week. As many of you know, my son and daughter-in-law were expecting a baby girl May 15. Well, our little bundle of bliss arrived six weeks early. Stella Grace made her appearance Friday, April Fool’s Day (she already has a sense of humor!) at 10:38 p.m. Praise God, she’s healthy, weighs 5 pounds 2 ounces, and is 18 inches long. Mother and baby are doing fine, and Dad has been a rock for us all.
In the Old Testament, names were indicators of behavior. David means beloved; Isaac means he laughs; Jezebel means not exalted; Peter means rock. Imagine my delight when I learned my first grandchild would be named Stella, Latin for STAR. Hear me shout it, “STAR!” Of course, she’ll be my shining star, but will she shine where it’s important – for God? Fortunately, her middle name is Grace, meaning favor and blessing. From the day I learned that Josh and Meredith were expecting a baby, my daily prayer has been for God to grant favor and blessing to this precious child. I began this prayer long before I knew her name. Funny how God goes before us to guide our thoughts and prayers!
Favor and blessing have already been granted our little star. On Wednesday night, when Meredith went into premature labor, men and women from far and near began praying for a healthy delivery. So when the pediatrician said he was surprised that Stella was doing so well, I just grinned. He didn’t know what I knew. God had granted favor and blessing on little Stella, and the power of prayer explains the unexplainable. As for her future, I pray that God will hold Stella Grace in the palm of his hands as her devoted parents “train her in the ways that she should go so that when she is old, she will not depart from it.”
Are names a self-fulfilling prophecy today as they were of old? I pray so!
Stella Grace, a star by the Grace of God.