What’s in a Name?

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Born the ninth child in our family, I was named Lydia. My five older sisters wanted to name me Esther, so I became Lydia Esther. Both of these courageous, God-fearing Bible women became role models for me.

When my parents told their friends I was named after the biblical Lydia, a seller of purple by trade who became a convert and started a church in her home, they said, “May she open her heart to the Lord at a young age.” And I did. (Purple is my favorite color.)

Child’s play

With Esther as my middle name, the story of Queen Esther interested me even as a child.

I remember sitting on a high swing hanging from a cedar tree on our dairy farm, holding a stick (to represent a king’s scepter) and acting out the role of King Xerxes. I would raise or lower the stick to represent whether the king would grant Esther entrance when she approached his throne uninvited.

I didn’t understand the true significance of her role at that time, but I knew she had courage and was there “for such a time as this.”


The book of Esther had an even greater impact on me as a mother with high school-aged children. To my surprise, I was asked to serve on a school committee to evaluate a controversial curriculum.

I hesitated to consent. But when my prayer group learned my middle name was Esther, they said, “You’re here for such a time as this.”

Impact for good

God gave me the courage to participate.

One evening I found myself clip-clopping across the gymnasium floor in my high heels to stand before a crowd of parents attending the school board meeting. With God’s help, I shared my beliefs and recommendations about the curriculum.

When I finished, thunderous applause accompanied me all the way back to my seat. God used my words to impact the curriculum for good.

We don’t need to be named Esther to learn from her example and become God’s messengers in our generation. For me, Esther modeled courage to take a risk to save her family — the Jewish people — from annihilation. She knew the danger but said, “If I perish, I perish.”

Power of prayer

You and I may not be called on to protect our families physically, but we can make a huge spiritual and eternal impact on their lives through prayer. And the good news is we are always welcome at the throne of grace to bring our petitions to the King of Kings.

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16, NIV).

Lord, show us how we can rescue our families spiritually as we pray daily for them. Give us courage to stand firm in our faith in such a time as this. May we model a godly life and glorify You in all we do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Lydia E. Harris
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Lydia E. Harris has accumulated over 1,000 writing credits since 1998. Her articles have appeared in such publications as Clubhouse, Clubhouse Jr., LIVE, Mature Years, and Purpose. She has also contributed to 29 books, including Blessed Among Women, For Better, For Worse, The Power of Prayer, and Treasures of a Woman’s Heart. For the past 20 years Lydia has written “A Cup of Tea With Lydia,” a column published in 20 Country Register newspapers in the US and Canada, with about a half-million readers. She and her husband live in Lake Forest Park, WA.