While studying 2 Kings and the stories of Elijah and Elisha we were reminded that their mission resembled their given name. In the sermons it went something like this:
Now this man whose name “just happened” to be “my God lives” went before the King and the head of the false religions and said “the Lord God who lives and before whom I stand has sent me here to tell you…”
Now this next prophet of
, whose name “just happened”
to be “my God saves” went and rescued those who would believe… Israel
In the Bible it is not unusual for someone’s name to be prophetic or their life, whether the name was given to them at birth like the above examples or their name was changed later like Abraham and Sarah or Simon who became Peter.
I had never viewed my first name in such a way although I had looked at my middle name with some affection in that it means “born again” (Renee). And in the naming of our children, great care was taken that we chose names whose meanings had significance to us.
When my husband and I were first married, we received a plaque that carried both our names with a description of what they meant below. My side had my name, Traci, and underneath “battler”. It went on to describe someone who is valiant and fights for the good and nice things like that, but my husband jokingly latched on to the first word and said, Battler, yup that’s my wife alright.” It irked me so that I eventually retired that plaque to the nether regions of storage. I even avoided giving our daughter the middle name “Nicole” because it essentially means the same thing and I didn’t want her to be saddled with it.
Then we came to our study of Esther and near the beginning of the study we learned of her Hebrew name, Hadassah, which means fragrant, and her Persian name, Esther which means star. Somewhere in the video lesson on this it was also mentioned that the word in Proverbs 31 which in our English Bibles is translated “a woman of noble character” actually means the same thing as what the angel of the Lord calls Gideon, which is “valiant warrior” (Judges 6:12). This just leaped out at me because that is what my name means, also. How cool that the woman that we aspire to be like is called warrior, just like me! Often it has been said that Gideon really was no warrior at all when the Lord said that to him, but that it was prophetic - that God was going to make him a warrior in spite of his being the smallest member from the smallest clan of
. God had a plan for Gideon. Israel
So much of our study in Esther was on the destiny which God has designed for us especially. Throughout, I have reflected on what God has in mind when it comes to the diabetes in our family. I began to wonder, is this fight that has been given to me a destiny that goes back even to the name I was given at birth? The enemy would wish to use this disease to cripple or destroy us, but perhaps I, “the battler” am called to fight and see him destroyed instead. In my notes on Esther called “In the tight fist of fear, fight” I talked about how Beth Moore encouraged us to fight our unseen foe because our God is great and powerful. She talked about how the enemy cannot win and we cannot lose.
So when I thought about these things and the connection with my name, I concluded “I was destined to fight.” Every day, with each drop of blood and each plate of carefully counted food I must fight - fight the despair, fight the pain, fight the setbacks. The amazing thing is that I am never alone, but God, who knows my name, who gave me my name and my destiny is there beside me defeating every enemy, seen and unseen, and assuring the victory for all of us. And so, like Esther and Peter and Paul and Elisha and Elijah, I will stand.