Something About That Name

Growing up in a Christian home or around Christian family or friends, you’ve probably heard that there’s a sacredness surrounding the name of Jesus. It’s true. The third commandment in the Bible, issued by God Himself, says, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.” (Exodus 20:7) The reason? There is actual supernatural power in the Lord’s name. No other name in Heaven or earth holds this power and authority. “…[Jesus] gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, He humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated Him to the place of highest honor and gave Him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians‬ ‭2‬:‭7‬-‭11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

While attending a dear friend’s Celebration of Life at Spring Meadows SDA Church October 22, 2022, photos of this friend began scrolling on the large screens mounted at the front of the sanctuary. I had done well keeping my emotions in check, but then Phil Wickham‘s song “Hymn of Heaven” began to play. The words “How I long to breathe the air of Heaven, where pain is gone and mercy fills the streets…” filled the room. Recognizing the tune, I gasped as air got sucked from my lungs. Barbara’s song! The loud melody instantly transported me to my mother-in-law’s funeral four months prior after she had died suddenly and unexpectedly in her sleep. Strangely, the spontaneous grief gripping my heart didn’t stem from her memory, though. Our last visit had been a very special and meaningful one, and I had no regrets at our last goodbye. I knew I would see her again. Instead, my mourning focused on my ex-husband. He had died of a massive heart attack September 17, 2022. His death had come unexpectedly, as well. But, unlike my mother-in-law, so many questions lingered. Many unresolved issues still hung in the balance. My entire body suddenly ached for closure.

Sitting on that church pew, tension in my chest radiated up the back of my neck, instant heat shooting up and over the right side of my brain where an injury had occurred in December 2020, and my ears began to ache. Breaths stuttered through my constricted airways, and I contemplated using my emergency inhaler. In that moment, that option didn’t exist, though, so I started fanning myself with a prayer card from the back of the pew in front of me, praying for my breathing to return to normal. Nothing seemed to regulate my condition.

At the end of the service, I said goodbye to family and friends and allowed my husband to drive us home. By the time our car’s tires hit the driveway, nausea had become my biggest nemesis. Grasping my head in excruciating pain, I made my way into the house and laid down on our bed, eventually holding an ice cube against the throbbing veins in my temples. In the darkness of our bedroom, I begged God for relief. I didn’t have a clue how to make the pain subside, and I feared a blood clot or stroke would make matters worse. That’s when I heard God say, “You get to live. I’ve given you all the tools you need. We’ve been through this before. Remember Covid? You didn’t think you’d survive that, either, but look at you now. I allowed you to survive so you could testify. (Psalms 118:5,17) This isn’t the end. Now, go take a hot shower.”

Everything inside of me groaned. I didn’t want to get up from my fetal position. Being still was the only thing keeping me from hugging the toilet. Even without moving, I could feel the weakness in my arms and legs. That meant standing would be next to impossible. I cried with every overwhelming sensation that coursed through my body, but stood and obeyed.

As the shower’s spray hit the back of my head and neck, guttural groans came out of me. This is when God revealed something significant about Himself:

When you cry out, “Oh, God,” whether cursing or in fear, your voice changes. The pitch literally goes up. However, if you cry out, “Oh, God,” from a desperate, passionate place of need, your voice stays the same, just like God’s presence stays the same. But, when you cry out, “Jesus,” in your greatest moment of need, the pitch of your voice steps down.

Think about it. Everything secular about this world is about the devil elevating himself, trying to position himself above God. So, it would make sense why panic, desperation, and anything outside of God elevates our stress, anxiety, and deep-seated fear. But, everything about Jesus coming to this earth focuses on Him stepping down to meet our need. His very name requires utmost reverence, the pitch mimicking His extreme sacrifice of giving up Heaven to come to this earth. I don’t think that’s a coincidence at all!

When fighting the devil at 11:25pm that night, the only way I could find peace came through whispering the name of Jesus—over and over again. I then found comfort hearing Bill Gaither’s cherished song There’s Something About That Name in the back of my mind, followed by Jesus Loves Me. There really is something about His name, and I am eternally grateful.

Started: October 23, 2022, November 12 &14, 2022
Finished: July 11, 2024

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