I will thank the LORD for his righteousness. I will sing about
the name of the LORD Most High.
Recently, as I was reading my Bible, my attention was drawn to the way God was introducing Himself to people by using various names. The names He chose to introduce Himself were characteristic of both His nature and His activity in their lives at that moment. The story of Hagar in Genesis 16 particularly stood out to me. She was a slave of Abram and Sarai and pregnant with Abram’s child because they got impatient concerning God’s promise to give them a child of their own. Sarai had been the one to suggest Abram sleep with Hagar as a solution to their childlessness. Can you imagine the plan ever working- two women living in the same household, both having slept with Abram, and the one who is not his wife becomes pregnant? Not surprisingly, things got a little hairy between the two women and Hagar ran away. Sometimes our seemingly brilliant ideas can turn south pretty quickly.
As I read of how God showed up in the wilderness and introduced Himself to Hagar as “El Roi, the God Who Sees” my heart began to melt because I felt a connection with this story. Many times I have found myself in a mess…whether due to my own actions or the actions of others. I could feel the warmth of God’s presence envelop me as I read of the God Who Sees. Once again, as I read the words of God’s story, He had shown up in mine, meeting me on the pages. Like Hagar, I’ve experienced a wide range of experiences ranging from the joys of motherhood to moments of desperation in which I couldn’t imagine a way out. And each and every time, El Roi was there seeing me…loving me.
Gratitude began to overwhelm me I sat quietly remembering the numerous times God was there as my life was unraveling and introduced Himself to me in various ways. In the stillness of my pondering, I pulled out a pen and started a list of names which are characteristic of the ways he has and continues to show up in my life. He is:
- A Listening Ear when I am grouchy.
- A Wise Counselor when I need advice.
- A Cheerleader when I want to give up.
- A Capable Guide when I can’t find my way.
- The Giver of Many Chances when I lose my way.
- My Muscle, always fighting for me.
- An Insulated Cave during storms.
- A Campfire in the midst of life’s blizzards.
- The Soothing Balm that heals my wounds.
- My Doctor.
- My Psychiatrist.
- The Source of My Hope.
- My Hero, who gave his life to rescue & deliver me from bondage.
- The Hand that lifted me from the pit.
- The Lifter of My Chin when I feel defeated.
- A Coach, helping me be a team player & requiring me to practice.
- A Champion, teaching me to triumph in the midst of tragedies.
- Cream & Sugar making the bitter bearable.
- My Untiring Babysitter, staying alert & watchful to keep my shenanigans to a minimum.
- A generous Provider who gives me more than I need.
- My Dutiful Father who laughs at my jokes, delights in my quirkiness, chuckles at my awkwardness, loves me when I am unlovable, spoils me with gifts, corrects me when I am wrong, disciplines me when I misbehave, accepts me as I am while teaching me to be a better person, and He helps me be brave.
The list could go on and on if I had the luxury of pondering longer. Looking over this list and thinking about all the ways God has lovingly landed in the pages of my story brings tears of gratitude to my eyes. Looking back, it is clear He has been everything I could ever want and everything I have needed. And based on my experiences with Him, I am confident He will continue to be everything I will ever need. Life on this earth will never reach perfection, yet Perfection walks with me, talks with me and lives inside of me.
This week as we celebrate Thanksgiving, may we find time to reflect on the many ways God has introduced Himself to us throughout our lives and praise Him for it! I know it is a busy week for most but will you share in the comments below a name of God for which you are grateful, whether it be one in the Bible or a unique name you have given Him?
Have a beautiful Thanksgiving week,