Rae's Thought: Today, I'm concentrating on the last part of these verses.
- I will also give each one a white stone... I so look forward to receiving my white stone! White symbolizes purity. The day we get to heaven, all of our blemishes, flaws, and imperfections will be no more. We will FINALLY be able to stand before the Lord, perfect and flawless. God will be able to declare us pure. Isn't that just awesome!
- ...with a new name written on it. Names are an important part of who we are...they're pare of our identity. I love my name. It doesn't have any particular meaning to it (my mom made it up), but it's unique, just like me. This verse promises us that, those of us who wins the victory - who endures til the end - will receive a new name. Our old names will be left behind. There will be no trace of our earthly lives when we go to heaven. Our earthly names, no matter how wonderful, important, or unique they may be, will be no more. The new name we'll receive will go with our new identities. It will fit perfectly with our new home, bodies, and status (status = perfect beings).
- No one will know that name except the one who is given the stone. Nowadays, while "Raenice" is still an uncommon name, I hear of more women with that name than I did when I was younger. There are different spellings of the name (Rayniece, Ranice, Raynice, etc), but they all sound the same. I can only imagine having a name as common as Mary or Emily. Oh, but when I get to heaven, I'll be the only one with my new name. It will be special because it'll be my name and my name alone!
Knowing what I've got waiting on me in heaven only causes me to praise God. The only reason why I can look forward to these things is because His Son, Jesus died on the cross for me. IIn reading this, I'm reminded that, while I may go through "hell" here - with trials, hardships, pain, etc - it'll all be worth it when I get to heaven. If I keep going and not give up, and not end my life before it's my time to go, I will be one of those victors this verse is talking about. God knows we're suffering here. Because I believe He's an empathetic God, I believe He feels our pain. He hurts when we hurt. He doesn't like seeing His babies suffer. But He is taking notes and He is building up our rewards in heaven. He's watching to see who will be the victors and who won't.
Yes, life will get unbearable at times, but God is so good that, if we ask Him, He'll give us peace...the kind of peace that'll have us smiling, even when we don't have anything to smile about or happy when we should be depressed. He's right there with us, comforting and guiding us through life. We've just got to seek Him. And when we've taken our last breath and finally make it home, He'll be waiting with open arms and a white stone with our new name on it. I don't know about you, but that's enough incentive for me to keep pressing on!