The name of Jesus. It is a beautiful name to those who love and follow Him. The name is beautiful because it represents Him; it brings our focus on Him; and He is beautiful. Isaiah prophesied that He would be known as Wonderful, Counselor, Prince of Peace. As you look at these names and seriously consider them, you see the beauty in them. You see His beauty in them. They enhance your understanding of Him and He becomes more beautiful to you.
Trish and I get up on Sunday mornings between 4:30 and 5. Shortly thereafter, we are in the den, sitting on the floor, singing, worshiping, praying. It is a special time we look forward to throughout the week. We’re there until about 7, when we stop for breakfast. An hour and a half to two hours of singing may seem like a lot, but it’s a taste of heaven, because it’s time with the Father.
Since my illness earlier this year, I have a new appreciation for life. Many of the songs we love to sing have taken on a much richer, deeper meaning as well. Some are hard to make it through without choking up with emotion, or stopping to just cry (in awe and joy) and say “Thank You, Lord.” There have often been songs as we’ve sung through the years that make us think of friends and loved ones, and we find ourselves singing the song as a prayer on their behalf (“singing over them”). That seems to happen more than ever before now. Maybe because of our own struggle this year, we are more sensitive to the struggles others are facing. Maybe it’s just because the songs speak more deeply to our own experience that it’s just easier to intercede for others through song and prayer.
This morning, one of those songs was “Your Name is Beautiful,” by Dennis Jernigan. I’ve posted a link below. The second verse especially hit home:
“If I never knew Your healing, If my days were filled with pain”—brings to mind my 4 months in hospital and rehab and my first month home after that. I didn’t know if I would ever get well. But in the midst of it the Lord brought me comfort:
“Just the fact that You are near me gives me strength to still proclaim Your name! Your beautiful name!”—Trish urged me to seek the Father’s presence while I was in the hospital. At first my foggy brain wanted to resist. I was struggling to be thankful in and for all things. Seeking the Father’s presence seemed like a whole different lesson, and a distraction. Turned out, though, it was His presence that gave me strength. He was there with me giving me strength, reinforcing my faith, and being the recipient of my thankfulness so that I wasn’t just mouthing the words, but had Him to be thankful to. As I became more aware of Him near, my attitude changed, and hope and faith grew, and as my voice gradually returned, I was able to share Him with those who were caring for me.
“If I lost all my possessions or the family I hold dear”—I had almost nothing of my own for four months, and the only contact I had with family was through a window. Trish stood outside in all kinds of weather. We could see each other through the window, and text or talk on our phones.
“I would gladly give my life up if it meant the world would hear Your name! Your beautiful name!”—This was milestone on our journey. When I began to hear how many people were praying, and testimonies began coming back to us of how people were blessed by Trish’s sharing our journey and prayer needs on social media, when we began to hear how people were drawn closer to the Lord, either just following her posts, or reading “Extreme Gratitude” and coming to a deeper understanding of the message of that book, all we were going through—the suffering, the nearness of death, the separation—all of it was worth it, and I am so very grateful and thankful for it.