My name is Melissa. In Greek, it means honey bee; in Persian it means red rose.
A honey bee produces honey and pollinates flowers, but if provoked, it will sting you.
A red rose gives off a beautiful scent; it looks pretty. It’s a symbol of love, but if picked up the wrong way, you’ll be pricked by a thorn.
What do both of these have in common? They all help to make beautiful things and create joy, but if handled the wrong way, they will hurt you to protect themselves.
I’m a lot like a bee. I like making people feel loved, happy and joyful, but I’m also direct and I hurt people.
I have always been vulnerable growing up, but whenever something didn’t go my way, I would lash out. If I got hurt, I would play the victim or block people out of my life. But Jesus has been changing my heart and tearing down walls like never before. He calls me loved, forgiven, and strong.
In Daniel 1, Daniel and 3 other boys were captured and taken into Babylon. The authorities changed each of their Hebrew names to Babylonian names.
Daniel became Belteshazzar. Hananiah became Shadrach. Mishael became Meshach. Azariah became Abednego.
” Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7 The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.” – Daniel 1:6-7
The world tries to change our names and call us something which clearly doesn’t belong to us; just as the Babylonians renamed the boys.
Unloved. Alone. Young. Incapable. Immature.
But the names the world gives us are based from different gods such as popularity, partying, or being a slave to fitting in. Those are all inaccurate substitutes of the one True God.
But Jesus came to give us new life and new names.
Loved. Forgiven. Trusted. More than Capable. Enough.
In the Bible, there are countless times in both the Old and New Testaments that the Lord changed people’s names. Some of them were running from God, some were hating God, and some had lost sight of God and his goodness.
“No longer shall your name be called Abram, But your name shall be Abraham; For I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.” -Genesis 17:5
“Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name.” -Genesis 17:15
“He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.”-Genesis 32:28
“But Saul, who was also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his gaze on him,” -Acts 13:9
The Lord came at the perfect time for Abram, Sarai, Jacob, and Saul and changed their names and identities to what God truly called them to be.
What identity and name do you need to finally accept for yourself?
What name have you been believing about yourself that is not your true identity?
How can you show those around you that they are more than the worldly names they settle for?
Let’s change the world,