Welcome to His Name, My Purpose, a site dedicated to showcasing the incredible names of our Maker. Each name of God in the Old Testament is a revelation of God's attributes. As we are exposed to them, they broaden our kingdom view and modify our thinking and behavior. Even a small glimpse of God’s character can wash our ordinary routines with new motivation, and bathe our agendas with fresh vision. Enjoy your walk through the names of God.

August 4, 2012

A Bigger Story

His brothers hated him. Some even plotted to kill him. But they settled on throwing him into a pit while they ate their lunch. When a more lucrative option came into view, Joseph’s brothers sold their own flesh and blood to passing slave traders, who in turn sold him to an Egyptian master.  The master’s wife continually harassed Joseph and finally accused him of rape, which landed him in the dungeon. His cell mate swore to remember his plight and put in a good word for him upon release, but completely forgot about him for two full years. Who would envy the life of Joseph?

But that’s only half the story. Amidst all the turmoil in Joseph’s life, God was at work. The Bible says God stayed with Joseph, caused him to become a successful man, made all his endeavors prosper, blessed the Egyptian’s house on account of him, extended kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer (Genesis 39). Finally Pharaoh, himself, recognized Joseph’s wisdom and positioned him over all the land of Egypt (41:39-44).

Joseph came to know God as El Elyon, the Most High God, who reigned over both his trials and his successes. He saw El Elyon weaving these outcomes in and out of history to accomplish His purposes. Although Joseph’s brothers tried to determine his future, ultimate control did not belong to them. Joseph told them, “Do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life” (45:5-8).

Like Joseph, we are never merely a victim of our circumstances, or of our personality, or of our family, or even our failures. There is always a bigger story of what El Elyon is doing. We are not responsible for the end product. We are just called to obey. God asks us to be diligent workers in His kingdom. We plan, we organize, and we implement the very best we can. But El Elyon has ultimate control, not us. He tweaks our plans. He reshapes our organized piles. And He most definitely determines the outcomes according to that which best serves His purposes.

March 3, 2012

Vitamin C Generosity

We looked so normal. Like any other family in our nice suburban neighborhood—large home, two cars, brood of kids, days filled with happy chaos. Despite appearances, months without an income had made our world quite different. A constant brainstorming of how to earn, what to sell, ways to eke by had beaten us down. As we fell deeper into the grips of our monetary losses, we began praying for groceries to feed our children.

My husband left early one morning to finish closing out one of his family’s restaurants in a city two hours away. He was surprised to find the walk-in freezer still running and full of meat. He also found a pantry full of staples. When he arrived home, my jaw simply dropped. Lavish meals, for months to come, lay before my eyes. Who knew God’s generosity would be so immediate and tangible.

As ecstatic as we were, we still lacked something. I was a trained dietitian, plagued to see each savory morsel of food in terms of its vitamin and mineral content. My grown children still tease me about packing their lunch boxes according to nutritional elements.  So, yes, we prayed for fruit. We gratefully thanked God for the abundance of protein and B-vitamin staples, then sheepishly asked for the vitamin C we still lacked.

Early the next evening, the doorbell sounded. As we pulled open the front door, a barrel of grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, and apples stared back at us—the doorbell ringer nowhere in sight. We ran into the yard trying to catch the one who had made the “delivery mistake.” It did not cross our mind that the gift may have been left intentionally for us.

My husband and I stepped back into the house discussing aloud how to find the rightful recipients of this bounty. That is when our five-year-old spied the goods. She danced around the house screaming, “Look what Jesus brought, look what Jesus brought!” The truth of her words melted our hearts and led us to marvel at our open-handed Lord through teary eyes.

The God who Provides, Jehovah-jireh, supplies food for the birds of the air, and He arrays the lilies of the field. We are worth much more than either of these to our heavenly Father (Matthew 6:26-30). The cross proves this lavish generosity. If God provided for our greatest need at the cost of His dearest love, is there anything He sees we need and won’t provide? Even the trivial, like Vitamin C?

Over the years, I have watched the Living God pour out His vast riches again and again in ways that shout of His deep and personal love for us. I cannot help but gratefully remain on my knees before this lavish Father.

            “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)