Subtle Awakening to Who We Are
In Genesis 17, we see Abram and Sarai, who have followed God as nomads … wandering through the land of promise. They are not sure why they are there. They believed themselves to be beyond the childbearing years. And in this image of wilderness wandering … this thin place … it is here that God calls them to a transformative moment and seals it with a change to their names. Abram will now be known as Abraham. Sarai will now be known as Sarah
As we can see, the changes were subtle. So what was the difference?
The name “Abram” אַבְרָם(Avram), which is composed of two Hebrew words, av and ram … roughly meaning “exalted father.” The new name Abraham אַבְרָהָם (Avraham), on the other hand, derives from the words אַב (av) and הֲמוֹן (hamon), which roughly means “father of many nations.” The addition of one Hebrew letter made a huge difference.
The change from Sarai to Sarah is even more subtle. “Sarai” (שָׂרָי) and “Sarah” (שָׂרָה) are different forms of the same Hebrew word that basically means speaks to royalty and strength … think “princess” or “woman of strength.” The subtle difference here is that “Sarah” is the possessive form of the noun as in “my princess” or “my woman of strength.” It is this notion that what she ultimately bears to the world is none other than the gifts of God. Through her, all nations … all people. … are royalty and endowed with a divine strength. The DNA of God is infused into all of creation.
Subtle, yet profound!
So as we journey with God, we become aware of our own limitations … our own brokenness … God comes to us and reminds us who we are. We are called to do greater things than we have ever thought possible. And it starts with that encounter with God when, if we will only listen, God may just tell us who we are.
May you discover your most authentic self in this season!
Lord, we trust that you know us better than we know ourselves. We pray in this season of introspection and renewal that you will reveal to us your vision of our most authentic selves. Amen.