Monday, May 21, 2012

Your Great Name(s)

Written by my husband, Brian

As many of you know, choosing baby names has been an adventure in our household. I’ll never forget about 5 weeks before Daniel was born trying to persuade Jenna that all of her "ETJ" and "Elijah" monogrammed bags and burp cloths were not going to be of any use if she wanted to keep up with the fashion of having your baby’s name match up to all of the monogrammed baby items. We had originally chosen the name Elijah Thomas for the baby’s name. However, life changed quickly, and the Lord spoke clearly. Our first born son's name was going to be Daniel Benjamin. Daniel means, “My LORD is Judge.” Benjamin means “Son of my Right Hand.” When you put them both together, it describes the hope that Jenna and I have in our risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Because God will judge sin, it is appointed unto men once to die and after that the judgment. Man has no hope in and of himself. We need a Savior, and Jesus, God’s Son, sits at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens. He is an all-sufficient and all-satisfying Savior. As our three-year-old walks around the house, his name reminds us of the glorious gospel which has changed our lives.

Four months later, the Lord decided to give us another surprise. I was shocked when Jenna used a positive pregnancy test as a bookmark in my Bible on Psalm 139. This psalm exalts God’s all-seeing eye from the womb to the tomb and beyond. He sees everything, and He knew how surprised we were. This would mean that our boys would be 13 months apart. Although, we had lost her grandmother, my granddaddy, a child to miscarriage, my dad, and my mom, God had heard our prayer much like he did Hannah’s in the book of Samuel. This is the name we chose, because Samuel meant “heard of God" or "asked of God.” God, our Abba Father, hears the cries of his children both day and night. He definitely was showing us that He could do more than we could ask or think. Since the boys we so close, we chose the middle name to be Levi. It means, “joined together.” The Levites were also the servants in the Temple and the tribe from which the High Priest came. Our Samuel Levi loves his brother and loves to pretend to have a song book in his hand as he sings his heart out. It is our prayer that he becomes a mighty man of God like Samuel was in the Old Testament.

This week, on Thursday, May 17th, we welcomed our third son, Elias Joseph, into the world.

Now, you may be wondering how we chose the name Elias Joseph for our third son. If you remember, Daniel was supposed to be Elijah Thomas. This may be a story I will never live down. We have always been fond of the name Elijah. He was a common man who served the Uncommon God. He was a man who stood boldly for the truth before King Ahab, 450 prophets of Baal, and 400 prophets of Ashterah in one of the greatest showdowns in history. You can read Elijah’s story in 1 Kings 17- 2 Kings 2. The reason we chose this name is because Elias (a derivative of Elijah) means, “My LORD is God.” When Jenna saw his face on the ultrasound picture on January 5th, this is the name the Lord spoke to her heart. After telling the boys about the two names we had chosen, they both would walk around saying “E-li-as.”

His name will be a great reminder for us as we grow old together. There is only One True God, and we are living in a culture of toleration where the Bible and absolute truth are seen as old fashioned and outdated. The prophet Elijah was not afraid to stand in the face of doubters, skeptics, or the confused and say, “Let the true God answer by fire.” I have stood on Mt. Carmel in Israel and taught from 1 Kings 17-18. The plain surrounding the mountain would have provided a magnificent picture of the glory of God as He answered Elijah’s prayer by sending down fire from heaven. We still need some fire to be kindled in the heart of God’s people. We are serving the eternal God, and He is able to do extraordinary things through common people who are submitted to His will.

Our little one's middle name is Joseph. This happens to be a family name and a Biblical name. My great grandfather was named William Joseph Johnson, but we called him Pappy Joe. He was a man of God. It has been told to me on a few occasions that he had read the Bible so much that he could cross-reference verses back and forth from the Old Testament to the New Testament. His grandfather’s name was also Joseph. Beyond the family tree, the life of Joseph in the book of Genesis is one of my favorite. This young man had God-given dreams of greatness, but he did not know that he would be betrayed, sold into slavery, lied about, or abandoned in prison. However, God was with him producing a heart of humility, service, faith, conviction, and forgiveness. In the end, Joseph told his brothers that what they meant for evil, God meant it for good. Joseph was able to completely forgive his brothers for all the wrong they had done against him. His life is a beautiful picture of what Jesus has accomplished for us— salvation in a world suffering from a spiritual famine, forgiveness of sins, and hope for today and tomorrow through His infinite wisdom and grace.

Throughout our marriage, we have experienced the meaning of Joseph’s name, “God will Increase.” We have been in pits, tight spots, spinning cars, and crossroads wondering what we should do. Our Sovereign Lord has been watching over us through it all and given us sufficient grace to meet each challenge. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

Moments after Arriving:
Thursday, May 17, 2012
12:06 p.m.
8 lbs, 12 oz
20 inches long

Mommy, Daddy, and Elias

Big Brothers, Samuel and Daniel,
Meet Elias for the First Time

Ten Tiny Toes

One Amazing Gift

On this day (5/17), we want to introduce you to Elias Joseph and to remind you of the following verse: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (2 Cor. 5:17). God is truly making all things new!

1 comment:

Katie said...

Oh, congratulations you two! He's precious! :) I'm so happy for you guys!!! - Katie