The beginning of a journey should always be preceded by beautiful expectations. Mine began with the baptismal name of Gabriel, named after St. Gabriel the archangel. He is the messenger of God and one of the three angels mentioned by name in the Bible. St. Gabriel is the Patron Saint of Communications, Postal Workers, Messengers, Broadcasters and Telecommunications.

Gabriel appeared twice before Daniel (Daniel 8:16-26, 9-21), one of them foretelling the coming of the Messiah. He appeared before Zechariah (Luke 1:11-20) to announce the birth of John the Baptist. Finally he told Mary (Luke 1:25-38) that she had been chosen to conceive Jesus.

The name Gabriel was chosen for its significance in meaning. The first time I prayed with all my heart, God answered but not what I had asked for. He gave me a beautiful vision that will be cherished for as long as I live instead. He pulled me up when I was drowning in a sea of sorrows. He gave me strength when I was at my weakest. God is my strength ? that is what Gabriel means in Hebrew.

?Peter Gabriel, I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.?

Those were words most sweet that ever came into my ears. This name is in honour of Him who had given me a renewed vigour in life and beautiful expectations of what is to come. My strength will always come from Him. Praise God, for I have seen the Light and heard the Word.

In the beginning was the Word:
the Word was with God
and the Word was God.
(John 1:1)

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

10 thoughts on “Gabriel”

  1. gabriel is a nice name. it is not common like peter and paul.

    peter, since you baptised and confirmed at same time, you picked only one name. whereas me, a born catholic, i have a confirmation name, and it is ‘juliana’. but this name is not used at all.

    when you mentioned that gabriel means ‘god is my strength’ it reminds me of this beautiful hymn, one of my favourite – ‘as the deer’, the chorus goes:

    you alone are my strength, my shield
    to you alone my spirit yield
    you alone are my heart’s desire
    and i long to worship you

    the 3 verses are also very meaningful. do you know this hymn, peter?

  2. The song is “As the Deer Pants”. Lyrics drawn from Psalm 42:1-2 …

    “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?”

    In this hymn, (words and music by Martin Nystrom) both the tune and the words fittingly express the spiritual longing of a sincere soul.

    Here you go…

    As the deer pants for the water
    So my soul longs after you
    You alone are my heart’s desire
    And I long to worship you

    You alone are my strength, my shield
    To you alone may my spirit yield
    You alone are my heart’s desire
    And I long to worship you

    I want You more than gold or silver
    Only You can satisfy
    You alone are the real joy-giver
    And the apple of my eye

    Repeat Chorus

    *** John Michael Talbot has some achingly beautiful renditions that both inspire and soothe… particularly in times when groans and sighs grow too deep for words.

  3. Looking for lyrics to songs? Here’s a good source that I normally use:

    The last verse of As the Deer (key of D)

    You’re my friend and
    You are my brother
    Even though You are a King
    I love You more than any other
    So much more than anything

    Happy worshipping.

  4. Actually, in Daniel 8:16, Gabriel’s appearance was to explain the vision of the ram and the he-goat, whilst in Dan 9:21-27 it was to communicate the prediction of the seventy weeks.

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