Anne, Abraham, and You

I am a big fan of Anne of Green Gables. My wife got me hooked on it years ago. In part, I’m so fascinated by Anne because she is such a memorable character. Her wide range of emotions – from “the depths of despair” to her giddy wonder at practically everything – reminds me immensely of someone I know well. Her never-say-die attitude is compelling.

One of the attributes that seems so much a part of Anne is her knack for naming – or should I say, renaming – things. On the way to Green Gables for the very first time, she renamed a lake to be “The Lake of Shining Waters” and a blossom-covered section of road as “The White Way of Delight.”

As I read Genesis 22 this morning, I thought of Anne. Abraham named something. It was right after God had provided a ram – stuck in the nearby thicket – in place of Abraham sacrificing his son. I’m sure that must have been a major relief for Abraham.

“So Abraham called the name of that place, ‘The Lord will provide.’” (Genesis 22:14) Abraham knew that, indeed, God had provided. But I found this interesting because it was Abraham who named the place. Sometimes in Scripture God names things. But this time it was a person naming something – a place that may well have already had a name – to memorialize his encounter with God.

And think about this: Just because Abraham named it, that doesn’t mean that everyone for all time would use or even remember that name. Although in this case Scripture indicates that the name stuck, it is possible that it could have been just for the benefit of Abraham and his son.

Maybe there is something or someplace that you need to rename – if only for yourself – as a memorial of an event or an encounter with God in your own life.

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