I Recently Changed My Name

I changed my name because I got married – more than 19 years ago!! 

It’s sort of a long story, but it involves a life that got too busy and a heart that was too proud. I liked my maiden name (Langford). I was used to it. I’m adopted and it always felt like one of the first really special things anyone had ever given me – a name that said I belonged. 

But over time, the Lord showed me I was hanging on to something that wasn’t who I am anymore. And isn’t that just how He does things? He makes us new. Even when our circumstances might not change, He changes us. He creates in us a new heart, a clean heart, a fresh life. 

Change is not comfortable – but as my dear friend Melissa Pepin recently said, “the most uncomfortable moments of my life are the ones that have yielded the most growth.” 

I was studying in the book of Jeremiah yesterday and in chapter 18 verses 1-6, the prophet Jeremiah receives a word from the Lord that tells him to get up and go to the potter’s house with the promise that once he’s there, the Lord will let Jeremiah hear His words. When Jeremiah gets to the potter’s house he finds the man working at his wheel reforming a vessel of clay. The vessel he was making had “spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.” (Jeremiah 18:4). 

The Lord then speaks to Jeremiah specifically about his people Israel, saying that they are in His hand and He can do to them exactly what the potter did to the vessel. 

The Lord goes on to give a warning to Israel through Jeremiah about the impending disaster He is planning against them because of their disobedience. 

I share all of that “context” with you because it is always important as we study God’s Word to be careful that we understand the context around a given story. 

This is an Old Testament story and the Lord was using the illustration of the clay vessel in the potter’s hand to speak to Israel. But there is also value in this story for the Gentiles, for us as Christians. 

We are in God’s hand. Whether we’ve submitted our lives to Him or not. He holds us. He holds our futures. Yours and mine. 

And when we submit He will make us new. 

The process of renewal, of being reformed in the potter’s hand isn’t easy. The breaking down of old habits, habitual sin and the letting go of the things we hold in tightly clenched fists is uncomfortable. But the result is beautiful and worth it. 

I pray you are well and I hope that you are seeking the Lord in your every day life. Which reminds me of one of my favorite verses in all of Scripture. It is a promise from the Lord to His people: “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13

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"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits."

Matthew 7:15-20 ESV