What's In A Name
by Paul Black

In William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet, a phrase is used that has been used many times in many different circumstances throughout history. It’s the phrase “What’s in a name?” You'd better believe your name is important, especially when one is opening a gift. I can remember my sisters and I sneaking down to the Christmas tree on Christmas morning looking through the gifts under the tree. I was only interested in the gifts that had my name on them. Gifts with my sisters' names were quickly moved aside. 

Your name makes you, uh, you! Even though there may be others with a similar name, you are distinct and there is no other you in the entire universe. God has taken notice of that. He told the prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:5 (NASB)

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” 

I love Psalm 139:1-18a (NASB). Take some time and meditate on it this week.

“O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
3 You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O Lord, You know it all.
5 You have enclosed me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high, I cannot attain to it.
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,”
12 Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.

This time of year can be very hard on those who are alone. There can be a tendency to feel alone and forgotten. But even though circumstances may say that, the truth is you are not insignificant to Yaweh!!! He knows your name. I end this little devotional with another encouraging scripture from Isaiah 49:16 (NASB)

“Behold, I have inscribed (tattooed) you on the palms of My hands; Your walls (walls refers to the broken down walls of Jerusalem which can metaphorically refer to the broken down places of our hearts) are continually before Me.

He knows our weaknesses and our hurts. The same God who knows us also has promised never to leave or forsake us. Be blessed beloved, you are never alone.