The Phoenix is Rising

For nearly 20 years, I hated my name. Not because I had anything personally against it, but because I had found out at one point or another who contributed to giving me this name.

My name consists of two characters: 鳳 – phoenix—given to me by my father, 儀 – an appearance, apparatus, rites, ceremony—given to me by my eldest uncle.

Put them together, and my name means “an appearance of a phoenix.” This name was given to me by the two people I’m having the most amount of trouble forgiving, the two people who have shattered my heart countless of times, whether they meant to or not.

I had heard a sermon the other day regarding God’s promises. Does God keep His promises? Or does He give up on people if they don’t cooperate? A quote from the pastor said this: “A simple step of faith for you as you move towards what God has in your future is always rewarded with a God-spoken promise for the now.” For Moses, his future was leading Israel out of Egypt, and the burning bush was his sign. For Joshua, his future was leading Israel into the promised land and his sign the leader of the Lord’s army. For Jesus, it was drawing His children to Him and the cross. What’s my promise for the now? I dunno yet.

A lot of people believe that God gave up on Israel and doesn’t have to hold up to His promises to Israel anymore because He was just fed up at the fact that they wouldn’t listen and keep His commandments. Therefore, He made a promise to us instead.

God called Israel His bride multiple times in the Old Testament. If He no longer keeps His marriage covenant with Israel, He has divorced Israel. And if we are the bride of Christ….. the bride of Christ is married to a divorced man. It’s considered adultery in the OT and the culture. Take that, replacement theology.

God keeps His promises. A lot of us feel that we have a dream that was given to us by God… but it hasn’t been fulfilled yet. Is God faithful to keep His promises? You betcha. But we can’t look and focus on finding signs in the future when God gives us promises in the now.

I think that I-myself am a promise from God. Or well…… more than anything, my name is. My name means “the appearance of a phoenix.” My name was given to me by two men who would give me reasons to live up to it for years to come.

As we know, a phoenix in mythology lives up to a thousand years, and at the end of it, it ignites its nest and from the ashes, a new phoenix is born anew to live again.

Things have been thrown at me left and right for a long time. I’ve gotten burned. I’ve risen from the ashes. And I think that for the rest of my life, I will be affected by the people who named me. I will be praying for them for as long as I live, I suppose. It seems as though from birth, it almost symbolized that I would not have an easy life, but God’s promise to me lives in my name. I will rise from the ashes. That’s my promise.

I like when my friend calls me “Phoenix.” It’s a nice reminder of what I’ve been given. I like this nickname very much.

It’s only been recently that I started to like my name. And even more recently that I’ve come to love my name because of the promise He’s given me through it. It’s not a name that anyone can bear. James 1 tells us “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever [we] face trials of many kinds, because [we] know that the testing of [our] faith develops perseverance.” God has faith in us.

It’s a bit of a scatterbrained entry, but…… I can live with that. =)


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