[Andrew] brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas" (which is translated Peter). - John 1:42
I've never read the Gospel of John before; I've read Luke, but that was a while ago and I don't remember much of it. And that is exactly why I wanted to do this study for myself; I want to obtain a greater understanding of Jesus' life and character, as well as how to apply that to my life.
Now to understand this next comment, I need to tell you a bit about my organizational system. I love for everything to have a place (even if that means the floor) and for like things to be together. For example, while I was still at college I had a system for my clothing: clean clothes went in the drawer, dirty clothes went in the laundry basket, and clothes that I have worn at least once (which makes them too dirty for the closet) but are clean enough to wear again belong on my desk. Don't ask me why, it's just the way my brain works. So now you'll maybe understand why I have a separate notebook for my John study, and a separate notebook for prayers. This is only the beginning of my complex notebook organizations, but either way, you get it.
So this is what I wrote about verse 42 in my study notebook:
As far as Peter was concerned, he had just met Jesus, and Jesus had already given him a new name. Peter probably thought of it as a nickname, not what he is at his core nor what he would become for the church. But why would Peter be the only one to get a new name from the Lord? (some of my opinions come from Sifted: God's Scandalous Response to Satan's Outrageous Demand by Rick Lawrence) Has the Lord told you your new name? Better question, have you let Him? Right now my name is Jennifer, white face, white wave; Lord, what name do You have for me?
I felt the need to journal/pray at those last two questions, and as much as I don't like the thought of putting something online out of the journal in which I bear my soul, I'm going to. I'm going to put my whole prayer, because the whole thing is necessary to explain what I've learned. So here goes:
You know, I used to hate what my name meant. "White face; white wave"? No thank you; too embarrassing. But white is the color of purity, of cleanliness. And waves are never ceasing; they just keep coming. As soon as one disappears, another one replaces it. But yet they are part of the whole. Each wave bears the support of the whole ocean behind it. Put those together and you get waves of purity, never ceasing, with the full support of something deep and vast. What a beautiful picture! What a beautiful metaphor for where I find my worth, and what I desperately want to feel most: pure. Now that I've matured a lot since, you know, middle school, I love my name. I couldn't ask for a better one. And what about my stubbornness? waves continue to go forward and crash on the beach. They overtake the sand, flooding the ground where it had previously been dry. Then they recede, but not without leaving the land unchanged. Tide pools are full again. Things that need water for life can again breath that sweet, salty relief. Ecosystems flourish. Life continues. "What about tsunamis?" you may ask, but I've been known to have a few tsunami like, full-force and changing discussions in my day. Tsunamis run onto land, past the beach, past the shoreline property, and leave mass changes in their wake. Sure, destruction is caused, but unless the old is destroyed, the new cannot come. And look at how they bring people together! Rescue relief comes down to help clean up the damage, people open up their homes to friends or brothers and sisters in need. People cry out in outrage to God asking "Why!?", but in a few years time, that area looks and feels better than it did before. Plus it stirs up the ocean water. Same as hurricanes, the ocean water is mixed and churned, better spreading out the nutrients in the water as well as mixing and combining more. This causes a spike in CO2 eating plants, which keeps the world from boiling over. Waves don't leave the world unchanged; Jennifer doesn't leave the world unchanged. Thank You, Lord, and praise God!
Now, I'm sure there are parts of this that people will disagree with; I'm not asking you to agree with me. I'm asking you to think. God created us to be in perfect fellowship with Him. He named Adam and Eve, He gave Abraham and Sarah new names, He named Isaac, He named John the Baptist, and Jesus, and Jesus renamed Simon; I'm sure there are more examples, but you get my point. The Lord has a name for each and every one of us which may or may not coincide with our earthly names. Has He told you your new name? Better question, have you let Him?
Jennifer - white face, white wave.