August 1, 2012

Names of God: Yahweh Shalom

I’ll be the first to admit it—I’m the queen of worrying.

It’s so bad that if my husband is 5 minutes late coming home, I start imagining car wreckage and what have you.

And if a friend takes too long to text me back, in the back of my mind, a voice is asking, “Is she mad at me?”

I worry about my children—and I don’t have any yet!

And I definitely worry about my writing journey. When will I get an agent? Will I ever? Will I ever be published? Will all of this be a waste? Will my life matter?

The Bible tells us to trust in God. He will never forsake us. He will walk through the flames with us. He is everlasting, the only thing truly steadfast. His eye is on the sparrow. He cares about each one of us.

Such truth, and yet—still—I worry.

But I desperately want what the Bible talks about in Philippians 4: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. And the PEACE of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Peace.

It’s not illusive, something that I’m always seeking but can never find.

It’s something offered only by our Savior, a deep knowing that everything will be okay.

It’s God Himself.

His name, Yahweh Shalom, means “The Lord is Peace.”

An interesting thing about the word shalom, according to Ann Spangler*: basically, the meaning goes beyond the normal meaning of peace, and “comes from living in harmony with God.”

It’s almost like, to live in true peace, we have to think like God.

And God thinks about the eternal. He’s concerned with our souls, not our happiness here on earth.

So yes, His eye is on the sparrow, but that doesn’t mean the sparrow will not suffer cold winters. And it doesn’t mean the sparrow won’t ever break its wing.

But the sparrow will not starve—at least, spiritually speaking.

And the sparrow will never be alone.

Oh, that I would think about the eternal. The things that matter.

Because if I did, then I would realize that everything that God allows in my life is meant to shape me, mold me to be more like Him. To give me His perspective. To help me think like Him.

To bring me peace.

Because peace isn’t just about a lack of conflict.

It isn’t even about a lack of worry.

Peace is keeping my eyes on Jesus, on the eternal, and remembering two very important truths:

There is more to all of this than I will ever see.

And He’s got it all under control.

Rest in that, dear friend, and be at harmony with the One whose name is Peace.

Your Turn: How has God been Yahweh Shalom in your life?

*In her book, Praying the Names of God
**Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

21 comments:

  1. Such a great reminder! Our peace doesn't come from the world, but through God. Living in harmony with Him. I love it!

    I think since becoming a mom, I have leaned on Phil 4:6-7 many times. I often pray those verses because I do feel the peace that goes beyond all human understanding.

    So, that's my prayer for you, my friend. Not happiness, which is fleeting, but true PEACE that is everlasting because it comes from trusting in the Lord.

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    1. I'm sure I'll have to pull out that verse even more often when I have kids. They'll worry me right into a grave otherwise! :)

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  2. I love this, Lindsay! And before I say anything else, I have to say this: If it ever takes me too long to text back, it just means a) My phone is buried under a pile of blankets on my bed or underneath a pile of laundry and I didn't hear it, b) I'm in a meeting at work, c) I'm driving and attempting to be a responsible driver, at that. Haha!

    And can I just say a massively loud AMEN to this:

    Because peace isn’t just about a lack of conflict.
    It isn’t even about a lack of worry.
    Peace is keeping my eyes on Jesus, on the eternal, and remembering two very important truths:
    There is more to all of this than I will ever see.
    And He’s got it all under control.

    Truth, my friend. Such truth. Love it!

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    1. Haha, I know you're never mad at me. How could you be? ;)

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  3. I think we should fight for the position....because I'm pretty sure I'm the queen of worry. :)

    I love the names of God. Love this one in particular. I feel like he's really given me peace lately.

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    1. Alright, boxing gloves on, sista! :)

      I'm so glad He's been giving you peace. That's such an awesome testament to our God.

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    2. I could SO take you down in that fight! Why do you think I like Scaredy so much??

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  4. When I was younger, I worried like that. Yeah, I've seen the car wreck scenario before.

    Something I've truly learned over the years is to trust God in everything - and with "all" of my heart. That wasn't always easy to do, but I have no control and surrender it all to my King. In this, I find peace, even through sorrow.

    Beautiful, truthful post...

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    1. Oh, Loree, I hope I'm there someday...with all my heart, I hope so!

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  5. I wonder if under the heading: WRITER there is a list of characterizations, of which WORRIER would be at the top? Is it because we've got such great imaginations? I'm the same way - if someone is late, I imagine all the what-ifs. If I have a funny twinge somewhere, I'm all over the diagnosis of a disease and on and on. I've really had to learn how to curb that tendancy and discover how to trust God and lean not on my own understandings. It's not been an easy thing to overcome, but I can say I'm sooooo much better now than when I was younger.

    I love the description of Yahweh Shalom and I love your reflections on Him.

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    1. So glad to know I'm not alone in this, Gabe!

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  6. I'm a worrier too, but this week I've been thinking a lot about this verse. Luke 17:33 - Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.

    I think by worrying, I'm trying to "save" my own life. I'm trying to control. I'm trying to keep my security. But to really trust God, I have to be willing to put it all in his hands.

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    1. You're so right, Julie. We try to claim God's place as the one in control. Why, though? It's not like we could do a better job, that's for sure!

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  7. I am such a worrier, too, Linds! I've fought it for years, but it's a losing battle for me. No matter where I am in life I can create something to worry about. Each minute. Each day. Each life change.
    I needed to read this post today, friend. I needed to be reminded of the truth of my Savior and my God. I need to remind myself that I have no control, but I serve the One who does.
    Thanks for that.
    Happy Wednesday!

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    1. It can be exhausting to worry so much, can't it? Such truth in everything you said!

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  8. Wow, Lindsay, I love everything about this post! It's real and hope-filled - just like you. I have to remind myself that the Lord is Peace each time I step on a platform to teach His amazing Word. It can be intimidating to say the least to lend human insight into His perfect Word. So to combat my own need to "deliver" and not let down those attending, I must remind myself that it's not me doing the work. It's the Holy Spirit moving and drawing people close, not me, and I just need to trust. That truth brings such peace. Thank you for this terrific post!

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    1. I do the same thing when I sing, Donna. I always pray, "Lord, may YOU be glorified. Not me. Use me."

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  9. Such a sweet, encouraging post to read at the end of the day ... I mean, at the beginning of a new day.

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    1. Haha, being a night owl again, Beth? ;)

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  10. I was going to meet a fellow writer and I was totally worried she'd be thinking "agh, what a nutjob!" Then when we met, we got along like two peas in a pod.

    ;)

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