The Word of the Month: "Initial" — Novella McClung

The word for today is initial. According to initial has a variety of meanings. Initial is used as the ‘sign of one’s name’ or a meristematic cell. Initial is approval or endorsement’ or to show ‘shock’ or ‘authenticate.' Initial also means a ‘beginning’ or to ‘validate.'

Our daughter, almost three, came running into the living room exclaiming, “I found it!” “I found it! Come look!” She, jumping up and down, rushed into her room and we followed. She pointed to the hassock General Electric fan and beaming read her first letter – N. “See it is your initial Mom!” She pointed to the letter N in General Electric and reminded me that I wore my initial around my neck. She recognized the initial as a sign of my name.

An initial meristematic cell in a plant is like a computer not yet programmed. This cell is constantly growing dividing and sending cells to their proper place in the plant. It has authority to make the plant grow tall, wide, seek water and such. This initial process can lose the ability to reorganize and do its job. The results are what you and I call cancer or other systemic diseases. Our initial job is to grow into what God has called us to be/do.

Initial also means a beginning. When God created Adam and Eve, He had a plan. He created them to have fellowship with Him. When Adam and Eve chose their own way they challenged God’s initial plan and we know the rest of the story – all mankind suffers and we are separated from fellowship with God unless we accept Jesus as our crucified, risen Savior.

Initial can be used to authenticate or as a token of approval. According to Genesis, chapter one, when God created mankind He stated (chapter 1:31a) ‘it was good’. Mankind has taken what was good initially and made a mockery of God’s token of approval.

When you have accepted Jesus Christ as God’s only Son who sacrificed His life to die on a Roman cross, to be buried and three days later to rise from the death you are reclaiming the initial token of approval for a relationship with God. That should make you give God an “Amen!"

\Anne Graham Lotz in The Glorious Dawn of God’s Story tells of a little boy who built a toy boat. He worked hard to make a good, working boat. He was very proud of his boat and carved his initials on the bottom of the boat. When he placed the boat in the river he tied it with a string so he would not lose it. In his excitement he dropped the string and lost the boat. It floated away. Weeks later he walked past a toy store and saw his boat in the window. He tried to convince the owner it was his boat. He pointed out his initials to no avail. The owner insisted he had to buy the boat. The little boy saved his money and bought the boat back. He was delighted and exclaimed, “I made you, and I bought you!” (Page 249).

Isn’t that just like God? In the beginning, God carved His initials on us. We let life and our will take us from a relationship with Him. But God, through His Son, Jesus, paid the price to bring us back. He ‘made us and He bought us’! Hallelujah, what a Lord to carve His initials on me! He created me and He bought me back!