I don’t think I ever appreciated my second name. Yes, I have a second name. My real name is actually Phoebe Martha. I know my parents gave me my second name after this American lady in the newspaper the day I was born. I don’t know if growing up I knew that my name is in the Bible. I do know that when I discovered what the name Martha meant, I did not like it. Martha means bitter. Who wants to be bitter? Certainly not me. I want to be free from unforgiveness, anger, and bitterness. It didn’t compare well to what my first name means — radiant, shining. Phoebe is my mom’s name as well and it is written in Romans.
And then of course there’s the character that Martha is known for. She’s always busy doing things serving the Lord, that she forgets that being in the Lord’s presence, spending time with Him, listening to Him and enjoying Him, is most important. I am many times very much like her. Who wants to be reminded that she often misses the mark? Well, yeah, me. I need to be reminded. But I really do not want to relate so much to her. I want to be like Mary!
Until I read John 11 again a few days ago. I am sure I’ve read these verses many times. It’s the story of Lazarus. But for some reason these four words just jumped out at me and I felt so wonderfully loved.
Wow. It doesn’t matter what my name stands for. Doesn’t matter that I make mistakes constantly. Doesn’t matter that I sometimes make other things more important than Him. Doesn’t matter that I sometimes make myself out to be greater than others. Doesn’t matter who I am or am not connected to. Jesus loves me. Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, loves me. That’s just who He is. His love does not depend on who I am or on what I do, but on who He is. He loves me. No conditions. Completely. Perfectly.
I am Phoebe Martha. And I am loved.
How about you? What is your name? Jesus loves you too. ❤️