Thursday, 1 July 2010

What's in a Name?

When my parents named me, so they told me, they wanted a name which could not be shortened, and they settled on Anne (very importantly, with the "e") like the Princess (Royal), rather than the more traditional Scottish spelling without the "e". As I grew older and learned about meanings behind names, I found out that my name meant "grace". This was a bit ironic, as, having been born with dislocated hips, my gait is anything but graceful!

It was not until I became a Christian at the age of 17 that I came across the biblical concept of grace. This has been explained variously as God's kindness/God's mercy/unmerited favour and God's Riches At Christ's Expense". Whilst these definitions certainly helped my initial understanding of grace, it took many years for me to get hold of the reality of what grace was intended to mean for my own life.

The best way I can describe it right now (as my understanding of what it is continues to expand) is as an unending supply of whatever I need, to do whatever I need to do. It is the resource that enables, empowers and equips my everyday walk through life. It keeps me in peace through testing times, it keeps me well, it cushions me from the stresses of everyday life.

And how do I get it? I can't earn it, work it up, or get it from any other person. I get it by receiving it as a gift from my heavenly Father, paid for by Jesus's death on the cross. How mind-blowing is that? It is no wonder that when John Bunyan experienced it for himself he penned the song "Amazing Grace" because that is exactly what it is!

I am very grateful that my parents gave me this name, but I am much more grateful for my wonderful Lord who pours his grace out daily, not just on me, but on all his children.

What's your experience of grace?

Does your name's meaning have a particular relevance or significance to your life today?

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