What’s in a name?

Jehovah-Raah: The Lord My Shepherd

Jehovah Shammah: The Lord Is There

El Shaddai: Lord God Almighty

Jehovah Jireh: The Lord Will Provide

Jehovah Mekoddishkem: The Lord Who Sanctifies You

El Olam: The Everlasting God

Jehovah Shalom: The Lord Is Peace

Those are just a few examples of the names of God in Scripture. Say those out loud. Relish in their meaning. Praise God for who He is!

This leads us to some questions: What’s in a name? Should a name have meaning? Should it determine who we are?

A couple of weeks ago in Sunday school, we were talking about this. Our leader posted all of our names on the wall, and we had to match the names with their meanings. There were lovely and respectable ones such as:

Megan: Pearl

Bryan: Brave

Shannon: Wise

Terrance: Tender

And then there was, “manly.” Hmmm…who does this one belong to? Well, how about that…it belongs to ME. Andrea=MANLY. How flattering, right?

Thankfully for me, in modern times the meaning of names does not hold as much weight as they did to the Hebrews in biblical times. A person’s name was a reflection of their character, worth, reputation.

Countless times in the Bible, people are named based on a major event in their life or important characteristics they possess. Most importantly, the names of God hold great significance. They are windows into His very character.

I’ve been thinking about which name of God has meant the most to me in this season of life.

Jehovah Rapha means The Lord that Heals.


Artwork Credit: Andi Clem

Jehovah Rapha holds great weight in my life currently. Since Liam was born, I’ve been facing a bit of postpartum depression. I used to think depression was something someone could get over after some time…it was a crutch in my eyes. I’m sorry I ever thought that! It’s not something that is easy to shake. It’s been incredibly humbling because I never thought I’d fall victim to this illness. Nevertheless, here I am. There have been days I feel like I’m walking around in darkness. There have been days I feel like I’m drowning and cannot catch my breath. There have been days when all I can do is feed Liam and sleep. Again, very humbling.

There has never been a season in my life when I’ve needed the Lord’s healing more desperately. Never a season where I needed His light to fill the darkness surrounding me.

My Jehovah Rapha opened my eyes to this beautiful passage during some tough days…

“In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:4-5 (ESV)

Did you hear that? “The darkness has NOT overcome it.” GLORY, HALLELUJAH! Darkness cannot overcome light! Jesus is LIGHT and darkness cannot overcome Him! We truly have VICTORY in JESUS!

Satan can just get off our backs because Jesus has already won this! I’m so thankful He is healing my spirit every day.

I find a great deal of comfort from Psalm 107:28-32(ESV):

“Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.
 He made the storm be still,
    and the waves of the sea were hushed.
 Then they were glad that the waters were quiet,
    and he brought them to their desired haven.
Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
    for his wondrous works to the children of man!
Let them extol him in the congregation of the people,
    and praise him in the assembly of the elders.”

Jesus brings light to this dark world. He brings peace to the chaos. He brings hope to the hopeless. He brings healing to the hurting. He brings JOY to the desperate. Cling to the light!

I love that the Lord fulfills every single name given Him in Scripture. Every name. Evidence of His many names is apparent during different seasons of life. Healing is currently what I long for most. I cling to the promise that God is Jehovah Rapha- the Lord that heals.

Which name of God means the most to you in this season of life? Reflect on His names. I pray you’ll experience more of His perfect character every day!