What do you think about when you think about God? Does he seem real or more like a character out of a book? Do you grasp his majesty or is he more of an afterthought in your faith?
When you start to look at the original Hebrew in the Old Testament, you realize the ways that God identifies himself AND the ways that the people of Israel specifically honored God by name because of His character.
Over the next few weeks, I will be writing about the character and being of God and I invite you to join with me as I learn more about who He is and why He deserves our utmost praise and adoration.
“This job has made me realize how many anxious people there are in this world and just how easily I am dysregulated by other people’s anxiety.”
I sent this text to my mom earlier this week after I noticed my heart rate spiking on my Apple Watch after assisting a client. I work in a client-facing role for a brokerage firm which is not exactly in my comfort zone. Combine the natural angst that many people have when it comes to their finances, combined with the chaos of 2020, and my natural tendency to become anxious at the drop of hat, I spend a good portion of my forty-hour work week in an environment of heightened emotions and chaos.
I usually try and take a break after a more stressful call, walk around, and get a glass of water, but that only does so much over the span of the week. I have found myself neglecting putting margin in my week to decompress, relax, and spend time with Jesus. Meanwhile, I carry myself around like a tangled mess of emotions about ready to burst at any second.
Over the past few weeks, I have been writing about what is true about the character of God. He is Yahweh, the great and only God. He is Elohim, the Creator of all things. He is a God of victory, or Jehovah Nissi. He is Jehovah Jireh, the Lord who provides. I have a list of names of God that I have been picking from to write about every couple of weeks, but there is one I consistently keep avoiding.
Yahweh Shalom. The Lord is my Peace.
Yahweh Shalom is a name given to God by the prophet Gideon in Judges 6. God raised Gideon up to lead the people of Israel, specifically the small tribe of Manasseh, to deliver the Israelites from the Midianites. Gideon was an anxious man, always testing the Lord’s promises and abilities. He constantly asked for signs to be 110% sure that God would actually do what he said he would do. We see this happen three times in Judges 6 and yet, the Lord continued to show up and deliver on his promises that he would be faithful in spite of Gideon’s unbelief and fear. In response to the Lord’s faithfulness, Gideon built an altar to the Lord and named it “The Lord is Peace.” He began to fully trust the Lord’s goodness and became a mighty vessel for the Lord in helping to deliver the Israelite people.
If this name is so powerful, then why I am avoiding writing about it?
It feels redundant. I feel angry with myself for not getting it yet. I am tired of the struggle. I am worried that I am the only one feeling this way too.
Then it occurred to me what I have been missing in all of this — if God is Yahweh, then he is my standard of ultimate truth. I have to believe that as the Elohim of all things, God knows what he is doing. He fully knows the purpose and plans of 2020 and why I am in the job I am in. He knows His own will that he has laid out for me. As Jehovah Nissi, he has already won the victory over sin and death and I know that the current troubles do not even compare to the glory that will be revealed to us one day (Romans 8:18). As my Jehovah Jireh, he will provide for me, even when it does not look like the provision I expected.
At the end of the day, if I truly believe everything that I have learned about the character of God, then why would I not fully sink into the fact that he is also Yahweh Shalom, the Lord is my peace?
Early this week I shared on the Common Ground Blog instagram about this same struggle and how Psalm 23 has been a constant source of peace for me. This week, I want to encourage you all to make some time in your schedule to go for a walk, or to journal, or to just sit and drink your favorite coffee or tea and read Psalm 23 over yourself and do something that refreshes your soul.
Prayer: Psalm 23
Song: Peace Be Still