I have one of those names. You know. A weird name. Said in a certain tone of voice it makes a harsh, almost guttural sound. Verna! My father (named Vernon) randomly chose my middle name, and he was the first to use my full name. Verna Rose Legg.
My seventh grade English teacher always forgot my name. She had taught my father when he was at Valley High School in West Terre Haute. Plus she had taught all of my aunts, my older sister, and a whole herd of cousins. Before she could call on me in class, she would have to search for my name amongst the entire litany of Leggs—in order, no less. You could see her lips move as she recited: Vernon, Betty, Norma, Barbara, Brenda, Linda, Diana. Finally she got to me, the last leg of the Leggs, and she’d sigh, “Ah, yes. Verna!” Once I asked her why should did this and she said that things needed to be done in order to make sense. I thought then (and still do) that it made a lot of sense to merely jump from Vernon to Verna and forget about all those others in between. After all, wasn’t I the most important Legg to date?
About that last name. Legg. I can’t tell you how many birthday gifts I received inside a Legg’s Egg pantyhose egg. It was cute only the first seventy-five times.
I have been called lots of other names, too. The nicer ones are “Mom,” “Sis,” “Kiddo,” “Sweetheart.” My grown nephews still call me “Aunt Vroom.” My husband calls me “Fernie” and “My Bride.” My father, however, never called me by name. To him, I was always, “Punkin.” I worked for him for a number of years, and I can’t tell you how embarrassing it was for me to hear him call out over the store intercom, “Punkin, please open a register.”
I’m one person called by many names. I’m sure the same can be said of all of you.
There are scores of names we call God. We call Him “Jehovah,” “Yahweh,” “I Am,” “Elohim,” “Adonai,” “Immanuel,” “God Almighty,” “Creator,” “Majesty,” “Lord of Hosts,” “Peace,” “El Shaddai,” just to name a few. One of my favorite names for God is used only once. In Genesis 16:11-14, we read that Hagar and her son had been exiled to the desert. Just before death overtook them, God appeared to Hagar beside a fountain of water. She worshiped God and called Him, “El Roi,” which means “The God Who Sees Me.”
When we are struggling and doubting, when we cry out in despair, when we feel we have reached the end and can no longer carry on, God sees us. There are no circumstances in our lives that escape God’s view. We may not see or understand God and we may think He has forsaken us, but He is our El Roi. He sees us in and out of our troubles. Trust Him and He will deliver you from out of the desert, whatever your desert might be.
Call out to Him. He is your El Roi.