Name Change

By Pastor Mark Jordan | Today we are taking a break from Saturdays in the Psalms for a special message on a special day.

Then the man said, ‘Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.‘” (Genesis 32:28, NIV)

Today is one of the biggest days of my life! Today is the day my name changed forever…from Mark to dad. You see, today we celebrate Ethan’s birthday.

Name changes, linked to identities, happen to us at various points in our lives. Maybe you aren’t a parent, but it happens when you are a student, a graduate, an employee, etc.

There are quite a few instances in Scripture where God changed the name of a major figure, and one of my favorites is when God changed Jacob’s name to Israel. In that case, Jacob was preparing to meet his estranged brother, Esau, and he had no idea what to expect. Jacob wrestled with God and reconciled with Esau, but emerged with a new name and a limp to remind him of the entire experience.

Hopefully the transitions you experience in life don’t leave you with a limp, but they will leave you changed. Sometimes our life transitions come as blessings, yet (admittedly) sometimes they come as burdens. Sometimes our struggles are with God, sometimes they are with others, and sometimes it’s a combination of the two. In all times, though, our life transitions leave us changed, and with a challenge to change the world.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I know there are times I can wrestle with the transitions of life…the good ones, the hard ones, and all the ones in between. Help me to see the transitions in life as opportunities to reach others for you. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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