My full name is Mary Catherine. If you count my Confirmation name from the Catholic church my name is Mary Catherine Anne. My family has always called me Cathi, well, actually they called me Cathy until I went into my freshman year of high school and I changed the spelling of my name to Cathi. I thought it was fun and cute, never thought it would stick and now I am a 67 year old with a cutesy name… it’s like I need to make certain I have a cute little heart or flower when I write the ‘i’ at the end. In jest, some people have called me Cat-hi.
The nuns always called me either Mary or Mary Catherine. I still have some friends from elementary school who will occasionally refer to me as Mary Catherine.
In middle school, since I was taller than most of the class, I was called Stilts and Jolly Green Giant, sometimes Wilt (the Stilt). But, with age, I no longer claim such titles.
Dale calls me Kate or Katie and sometimes by my maiden name, McCarthy.
Each of us have a variety of names that we are known by. Some are pet names, some are full names, and some are the all important names of Mom, or Grammy. The point being, we answer to many names, each special, each individual, each with meaning.
Our God has many names also. We are all familiar with the common names, God, Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah, our Savior, Holy Spirit, Holy Ghost. These are the names most referred to describe God. God is also Abba (Father), God the Son, and again, God the Holy Spirit.
Apart from these there are compound names of God that each mean a particular aspect of God. For the next few days I am going to write about these compound names of God and what they mean to me.
Let’s start with Jehovah-Rohi, The Lord is my Shepherd. “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1(NKJV) This psalm talks about the Lord leading us to lie down in safety and provides for our needs, how He protects us and shields us. It is a comforting psalm for us. It allows us to see what the Lord, my Shepherd does.
In Luke 15:4-7, it tells us, “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ 7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.” (NKJV)
I love this passage, as it talks about not only Jesus being my Shepherd, He is also my Savior. This description of going and searching for a lost sheep is what He did for me. He saw me as I was heading down paths that were dangerous and not life giving. He found me and picked me up.
A shepherd puts a lamb or sheep on his shoulders so that the lamb can hear the shepherd’s voice. It is during this time the lamb learns to hear what he needs to hear. He is held closely to the shepherd and learns from him. His rod and his staff are used to correct lambs.
The Lord is my Shepherd, Jehovah-Rohi, I have experienced the Lord in this way. He sought me, found me, picked me up and held me. I learned His voice and experienced His shepherding. He has provided for me, a place to lay my head, a place to rest, a place to be nourished. I do fear no evil, because He is with me, protecting and guiding me. I have had to be tutored with God’s rod and staff. I have been corrected because God is my shepherd.
I am still learning all that Jehovah-Rohi is to me. Sheep are stubborn animals and not the smartest. We, as Christians are sheep, He is our Shepherd. He will continue to provide, train and correct me in safety and security until the day that we are with Him forever.