In Christian circles, we sometimes talk about how God “speaks to us” or “reveals something to us”. I often wonder whether this sounds like something from a sci-fi movie script to those who are not accustomed to such Christian jargon.
At times, I yearn to hear something from God. I am unsure how to listen for it, to hear the specific answer to my question or need. I now realize that sometimes God speaks most clearly when I am not straining to hear him; in these times, he makes himself known in a quiet moment of reflection or a passing thought that can only be from him.
This past weekend at She Speaks, I experienced some of these moments where God spoke directly to me to meet a certain need. Each time, he surprised me by answering a question that was not at the forefront of my thoughts—but a lingering question for him nonetheless.
Here is one of those moments (stay tuned for the other one in a future post):
I move from session to session, oblivious to the entrance of the prayer room that I walk by at least a dozen times on that busy Saturday. Instead, I earnestly look around for familiar faces among the attendees filling the hallway as I search for the next conversation.
Later that evening during the general session, the worship leader describes the time that she spent in the prayer room, mentioning something about the different names of God posted there. My mind wanders. I vaguely recall the P31 team mentioning a special room, a place for prayer specially set up for conference attendees. Oh yeah, I need to find that room and check it out.
After a particularly meaningful time of worship, I strike out in search of the infamous prayer room. It is a short search since I am standing right across the hall from the entrance. As I enter, I realize that many others had the same idea. The mood of the darkened room quickly takes over. Listening to the soft worship music playing, I notice pillows strategically placed on the floor and armchairs waiting to be claimed. Although the room is busy, I hear no voices other than whispered prayers.
Curious about these names of God, I move towards the tables at the end of the room. There are hundreds of personalized slips of paper—each printed with the name of a conference attendee, each attached to a larger piece of paper that proclaims a name of God from the Old Testament. I scan hundreds of names looking for my own, hopeful that the P31 team prayerfully linked up my name to just the right one.
They did. I stop and hold my breath as I read:
The Lord is There
The Lord My Companion
My heart has been searching for an answer. I am lonely, God. Even with all of the great friends you have provided me, even being in the midst of 600 sisters in Christ this weekend. I still want a companion. And could you please make him in the form of a hunky husband? 🙂
I think of God as my rock, my father, my hiding place, my provider and many other wonderful things. But as my companion? I never considered God in exactly that way. But he knows exactly what I need to understand.
Psalm 46 was one of the scripture references noted on that same piece of paper below the name of God. I love the whole chapter, but especially this verse:
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day. Psalm 46:5
Recently, I have been saying that God knows and understands my needs in a much deeper way that even I do. He does. And now he wants me to understand that he is the only companion that will never fail, the one who is there within me, the one who will love me without ceasing. Jehovah Shammah.
7 responses to “Jehovah Shammah”
Just a random and insignificant thought, but I liked this phrase: “armchairs waiting to be claimed.” There’s so much waiting for us; we just need to claim it. Claim the quiet, the calm, the empty chair, or waiting bench and know that God is with us in every capacity we could ever want (and more).
Happy Friday sweet friend!
oooh…I love that, Ally! That phrase was actually a last minute revision that I made. My draft didn’t start out that way. Now I love that wording even more! And could be the start of a whole ‘nother story 🙂
You are doing a great job of articulating personal truths that God has revealed to you. I’m always hesitant to tackle these things on my blog. Partly, I think, because they are so personal to me. Thanks for being willing to give us a glimpse of an intimate moment between you and your eternal companion.
I enjoyed meeting you at She Speaks! Too bad there wasn’t more time for conversation to get to know you better. I love Psalm 46:5 here, I needed to be reminded of that today, and I hear ya on the hunky husband- one day! Take care- how’s your writing going?
I wrote a song for my friends’ little girl based on Psalm 46:4-5, when she was still on the way, called “There is a River”.
What a lovely post this is, and you’re right. He’s the only Companion who’ll never fail – the only One to truly satisfy. I think it’s when people start looking for that satisfaction from a human being that they run into problems.
Hey! Just went to your “Sponsor a Child” link. Are you a Compassion-sponsor too?!!! Wow. 🙂
Dear Allison – found you on a Google search for ‘jehovah shammah’ since someone found my blog under that same search. How nice to find you and read this beautiful article of God’s companionship as our Jehovah Shammah. It’s a pretty special name for my husband and me…see our FB page (if you’re on FB) under Shammahs Field LLC / Shammah Ministries. Our hearts beat similarly 🙂 Rich blessings to you! Nancy Bentz – Wellspring of Life.