When I was 11 years old, I lived in Panama, Central America with my missionary parents. Panama is a beautiful tropical country with pristine beaches – some with dark black sand. You can only imagine the heat that is generated from those black beaches near the equator.
One sweltering afternoon we were at the beach and I was standing in the ocean up to my thighs, talking with my mother who was next to me. Before I knew what was happening, a wave hit me and I went under the water – pulled by the undertow.
I vaguely remember hearing my mother as she yelled, “Jesus, Jesus” in Spanish. As I was tossed and turned under the ocean, flashes of life went through my mind. I remember thinking that I must be drowning. So… when I felt strong arms around me, I really thought they belonged to Jesus.
Well, the strong arms around me did belong to Jesus – but not to the Jesus that lives in heaven:) You see, that afternoon a man named “Jesus” (a common Spanish name) was napping on the beach. He was awakened when he heard my mother screaming his name and he quickly saw what was happening. I am told that he dove into the ocean several times before he found me and carried me to the beach.
That day, the fact that the first words out of my mother’s mouth in a crisis were “Jesus, Jesus” saved my life. And today the name of Jesus is never far from my lips. Ponder for a moment the number of times we have called on His name and the number of times He has rescued us – I have certainly lost count.
I often think about Peter’s understanding of the power in Jesus’ name. After denying Christ and repenting for doing so, he was left with a clear understanding of what Jesus’ name represented and he learned to rely on that power – proclaiming the mighty name of Jesus for the rest of his days.
The name of Jesus gives us authority for…
- Asking in His name
- Seeking deliverance in His name
- Declaring in His name
When Peter brought healing to the lame man in Acts 3:6, it was in the name of Jesus and that this man rose up and walked. The Acts of the Apostles were all done in the name of Jesus and these dedicated men were very bold in stating that their authority was in His name alone.
At the age of 5, I asked Jesus to come into my heart. At the age of 11, Jesus heard my mother’s cry and a man named “Jesus” saved me from drowning. At the age of 47, I know that the name of Jesus soothes my sorrows, heals my diseases, and it drives away all my fears – because it’s all in the name!