on a name

He had been quiet for a while.

I had been listening… and though some say that it’s through suffering the Lord speaks the loudest, in waiting, in my experience, He is very quiet.

“Be still and know that I am God.”

We walked into Jubala, all four of us, for a pre-supper afternoon treat. We wanted to relax. We wanted to enjoy the best cup of coffee we know. We wanted to watch our little lives run around in the sun.

I don’t know the exact time frame. I just remember it had been a while.

There on the wall, in hand lettering on a huge canvas created by a friend, hung these words

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I looked closer, reading carefully.

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HE gives and gives and gives again.

It was like a whisper. a Really Pretty one.

I knew. I knew that I knew – this is a word from the Lord.

“One day – this side of heaven – I will give again – to you.” — It’s only because of Him and from Him and through Him. It’s not because of me or something I did or earned or… no.

I waited and listened and listened and waited some more. He was quiet. He was near, I knew that. But He was quiet.

Friend, it was a long time. When you’re waiting, a minute feels like a long time. Months feel like eternity. And with the anniversary of a year of waiting,…

I wanted to wait well. I wasn’t always sure what that looked like. Sitting still? Doing a project? Praying like I was talking my head off? I wanted Him to speak. to come. to answer. to move.

Most of all I wanted Him. I waited like the watchman waits for the morning. Any sign. Any glimpse. Is that You, Lord?

In the waiting, I would remember His whisper. “I give again.”

I learned about Annie Johnson Flint. She’s a woman who exemplarily lived out her faith in the living God. This hymn, one of her many, sings:

  1. He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
    He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;
    To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
    To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.
  2. When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
    When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
    When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
    Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
  3. Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
    Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
    Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
    The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.
  4. His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
    His power no boundary known unto men;
    For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
    He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again

Sometimes I drove myself mad. Other times I cried. In the afternoon, I might sleep. There were days when I would whisper back, “I cannot do this anymore.” And He would respond, “You are right. But I can.”

So I put my face to the Lord’s like a flint. I was gonna get Him. I was gonna see the Lord. I held Him to His Promise, because He says He is The Faithful One. He is The Promise Keeper. Not because He owed me, or I did something, or I had earned…

“While I was still a sinner, Christ died for me.”

Eventually, I rested. I was like Jacob, who demanding the Lord bless him, after wrestling with the Lord, could say, I have seen the Lord face to face and my life was spared… and the limp was a blessing, and the new name was the gift, and seeing the Lord was really the only thing that Jacob had wanted all along.

I wrote in my journal:

“I know Good wins. I hold my breath, baited breath – eyes fixed – I want to make sure Good wins.

God, win.

In the moment of wrestling all goes silent. Still battling – still baited breath – warring. waiting. watching.

God win.

Here I am right before the battle ends. Right before the Victor conquers. Come on. Come through.

GOD WIN.”

I stopped crying. I knew He was coming. I sat up, alert. I could almost see Him.

It was the end of February, cold, and there was a morning I – by some miracle… – got a good long time in the warm sunshine in the Word. My boys were sleeping, from what I remember, and I just sat there with the Word pouring into my heart, the sun pouring into the windows. He was speaking again.

(I want to pause and say that there is so much more that I could write to share with you, there are so many ways I could write this post, and perhaps I will write more at another time, but suffice it to say, Our God is a Great God, in the biggest of big ways and in the every-little-jot-and-tittle ways… He has done great things, and with the same heart that John ends his gospel,

“Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” )

I read through the story of Joseph, found in the book of Genesis. I decided to look up what the name of Joseph meant.

Right at the top:

“May Jehovah add,/increase // to add, to increase, to repeat // means to add, increase or do again”

— to give again —

O LORD.

I nearly fell through the floor.

I knew it. I didn’t know when… but I knew. He was going to do it again.

Jehovah – the Holy God, the unchanging, eternal, self existent God – came to me, in His Word… “the I am that I am” promised to me (little me, little little me) that HE would keep His covenant, because, after all, He is THE Covenant-Keeping God.

And this Jehovah, The Lord of All, was promising little us our Joseph. The Lord was promising another boy. The Lord was promising that we would see life in the land of the living.

And there is just something so scary and so heavy and so messy about holding God to His Word – except that He commands that we do it and His character says we can – because He is The Faithful One who Keeps His Promises. because He is I am that I am.

I wrote down the words in the my journal, I read through the Scripture again, and I stared Him straight in the face and I said

– You are scary and You are Good. and I will not let go, I will not stop waiting, I will not stop praying and holding You to Your Promise until you answer me, bless me, re-name me, re-make me. give me all that You are and all that You promise.

And on that spring March morning when I held the positive pregnancy test in my hand, early morning, fully awake, I was quiet.

The Lord had spoken.

I limped upstairs, silently, and showed Tyler the test.

On that hot summer morning, sitting in the ultrasound room, when we looked at each other’s blue eyes, we smiled —“another boy” we silently nodded at each other

Joseph Haddon

Of course.

Not because we had done anything or earned anything… no….

But because He is Faithful and Good, Scary and Sovereign. He is the God who remembers, who removes reproach, who comes, who gives again. He is Jehovah. He is the God of Life.

“Then God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb. She conceived and bore a son and said, ‘God has taken away my reproach.’ And she called his name Joseph, saying, ‘May the LORD add to me another son!'” (Genesis 30:22-24 ESV)

Psalm 46:10 / Psalm 27:13-14 / Psalm 73:28 / Psalm 130: 6 / Psalm 145:13 / 1 Corinthians 1:9 /  Hebrews 6:13-18 / 2 Peter 3:9 / Romans 5:8 / Genesis 32:22-32 / Hebrews 12:2 / John 21:25 / Genesis 30:22-24; Genesis 35:24; Genesis 37-50 / Exodus 3:14 / Revelation 3:12 / Isaiah 42:5 / Job 33:4

I am excited to share with you soon where the name Haddon comes from, too… there’s another good story. And that weighty Genesis scripture…. there are stories upon stories here. Praise the Lord.

 

 

2 thoughts on “on a name

  1. Wow wow. How awe-inspiring is our God! Thank you sharing the entire story and helping us to see how the Lord prepared y’all for Joseph. The last verse you quoted is such a kicker- so so incredible!

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