Names and their histories and meanings have always been a big thing for me. It may be because my name, Kishona, is unique and has its own story, and I have always loved that (I was named after the River Kishon, sometimes called the Brook Kishon, in the Bible.).
So when we began making a list of possible names for our first child, pretty much as soon as we knew that I was pregnant, you can imagine the importance I placed on finding just the right name. Once we knew for certain we were having a boy, the search was on in earnest, and we prayed for God to make our child’s name obvious to us.
We wanted a more unique name, preferably Biblical, that had a strong meaning and history. We also didn’t want one that would be easily shortened to a nickname, and it had to sound good with our last name. I really like the name “Joel” but with our last name it just sounds like “Joe Lape.” And “Gideon” is cool, but when you try it out with “Lape,” it comes out too close to “Giddy-up,” which is not the most playground-friendly.
The name “Elijah” was on our list, and we had already passed on it a couple of times when one day it just stood out. I was getting ready for work, and I kept thinking, “Elijah, Elijah, Elijah Lape.” I mentioned to Brad that we might want to reconsider it, and then later that day, in a conversation with someone we barely knew, they suggested one name for our baby. They said, “Elijah.”
After that day, since I already knew a good bit about Elijah of the Bible, I began to look into its meaning, which is “My God is the Lord.” That was promising. When combined with his middle name, his name would mean, “A strong warrior whose God is the Lord.” Yes!
We waited until we saw our little guy for the first time before we told anyone what his name would be. We wanted to make sure that it fit, and it also gave us something to surprise our family with when he was born.
From the start, it was clear that there was only one name our boy could have been called, and as he has grown, it has only become more evident.
Just like I love my name and its history, Elijah LOVES reading all the stories about “Elijah from the Bible.” His favorite is, of course, when Elijah calls down fire from heaven at the contest on Mt. Carmel against the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18). Funny enough it wasn’t until he was born that I remembered the connection of “my” river to that same story. (It’s where Elijah killed all the false prophets.)
Elijah also loves the story in 1 Kings 17 of God using the ravens to feed the prophet Elijah during the drought.
One day when he was a little over 3, he came up to me and asked,
“When is God going to have the birds feed me?”
I knew he was thinking literally, as in he expected to walk outside one day and have a flock of chickadees or robins fly over and drop down some yummies. But God, being awesome as always, already had an answer in the works for that same evening.
That day God didn’t choose to use a bird (thankfully). He chose to use a Brad… or rather, Brad’s work.
My hubby texted to let me know that he was bringing home leftovers from one of the company’s catered meetings.
Just like that, I was able to let Elijah know that God was sending him dinner. (Bonus: I didn’t have to cook!)
We talked about how God can provide for us in many different ways, sometimes completely unexpectedly, and how He knows what we need before we do.
Jesus told us in Matthew 6:31 & 32, “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.”
As adults, we feel the responsibilities of life, and we tend to worry. We think in terms of bills, saving for unexpected expenses, and making sure we always have enough.
Yet God already knows what we need. And He is more than capable of meeting any and every need we have. It may not be how we expect Him to meet it (how many of us would want to live by a brook while birds brought us food?), but He will still provide.
It doesn’t mean we’ll have excessive amounts of things we want or even things we need. But we will have what He knows we need.
Instead of worrying, we should live in expectation, knowing that our Heavenly Father loves us, and when we ask for bread, He won’t give us a rock. (Matthew 7:7-11)
I’m not sure that we should go outside and start watching for a flock of ravens, but God knew that our Elijah was expecting Him to provide, and He didn’t let our little boy down.
“I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread.” – Psalm 37:25
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