Once, when my daughter Lindsay was two, my mom was taking care of her and was out running some errands. With Lindsay on her hip, Mom ran into a store to pick up an order. When the sales lady asked for her name, Mom said, “It’s Judie.”
Two-year-old Lindsay used her chubby hands to turn Mom’s face toward her, and with incredulous astonishment, she said, “You name is Judie?“
That story makes me smile every time I think of it. Apparently, we had never used Mom’s first name around Lindsay. Lindsay had only heard things like, “Mamaw has something for you!” or “Want Mamaw to pick you up?”
At two years old, Lindsay was shocked to learn that the grandmother she loved, and thought she knew, had a whole new identity that she knew nothing about! Mamaw’s name was ‘Judie??’
Though I’ve known God a lot longer than two years, I’m still learning his names, which are tucked into Scripture. He is ‘El Elyon’, the Most High God, and ‘Jehovah Jira’, God will Provide, and ‘El Roi’, The God Who Sees.
Since I am God’s child, he wants me to not only be able to recite his different names, but to know him in these different ways. He might show me that he is my Provider by meeting my need for a friend. He might show me that He is the One who sees when no one else does, when he gives me something that I prayed for privately. He might show you me he is the Most High, when he convicts me of worshiping a false god like money or entertainment.
Each time I discover God in a new way, I’m not meeting a new God; I’m just learning something new about him. And he loves it when I turn his face to mine and exclaim incredulously, “Your name is ‘Yahweh Raah’?, Lord, my Shepherd?” He doesn’t chide me for not knowing all of his names, but rather teaches me to love him and be satisfied more completely in him, with each new name that I learn.