For countless decades people living in Britain have been changing their names, and no, I’m not thinking about maiden names but rather their first names.
For those who have a different cultural heritage, names can quickly become a challenge – people don’t pronounce them right and frequently they don’t spell them correctly either.
Just recently I heard the story of Chinemelum whose background is Nigerian, more specifically Igbo. She recounts a story of being called up the front at school to receive a prize and being asked her name, then having said it twice, the teacher promptly gave up and just said that anyone struggling to pronounce her name should just call her “chicken lemon!”
For a long time she took on the name Mel, just to make her life easier, but now she is reverting to using her true name for she says this is her rightful identity and because with a name comes power and meaning – her name, she explains, means “God provides for me”.
Early in the Bible we read of God testing Abraham. He asks him to give up his only son Isaac. When God sees his loyal obedience and unswerving devotion, He steps in to provide for Himself a suitable offering instead. Abraham promptly names the place “God provides”, in some Bible versions “Jehovah Jireh”.
I know that I, for one, am proud to have Jesus who supremely “provides for me”. Who is that someone who provides for you?