WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE NAME FOR GOD? We should all have one.
We all need to find Someone we can trust!
My favorite name for God is SHEPHERD. Let me tell you why.
Scripture: Matthew 9:36. When He (Jesus) saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
SCENARIO #1. From a dream house to Elm Street. (get it?)
It was my dream house.
Because it would belong on the cover of House Beautiful? No
Because it was the envy of the county? No
Because it came with a pool? (It did not) No
Because I had always wanted to live there? No
It was because I would have enough room and space for a garden that anyone could ever want. I wanted to raise my own food / process it / breathe in country air / have enough room for everyone. Plus it would be good for the children. We could have a dog. No neighbors telling me what to do. Ouch. No husband being seen doing embarrassing things outside. I will spare you the details.
So where did the Shepherd come in?
I would take walks down the road and read as I walked. In retrospect that was probably dangerous on a country road. But I was depressed at the time. Besides I didn't really care what happened to me except for the children. I was harassed and helpless, but I hung in there and hoped to feel better.
Walking helped. I would turn to the right as I left our driveway and walk quite a while up the road. In between us and the next house was a barn. It sat all by itself with no house. Sheep were there. If I talked to them, they would run away. But then one day I had an idea. I was going to sing to them. I did. They did not run away, just kept eating grass. That made me happy.
About that time I remembered a scripture verse: Zephaniah 3:17.
"The LORD your God is with you,
He is mighty to save
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing."
What did I sing? I would sing "Bringing in the sheep" to the tune of a hymn named "Bringing in the Sheaves". Then I knew that My Shepherd, Jesus, had given me the idea to sing. That made me happy too.
But the situation got worse instead of better and it was kinda like "The nightmare on Elm Street." I have never seen that movie but I surmise it is scary and I could relate. I ended up leaving but some things are difficult to get over. Although the Lord can heal and does. My Shepherd saved my life and I know it.
SCENARIO #2. A Peace Like None Other - The Peace of My Shepherd.
It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood! It really was. Sometimes when the weather was excellent and I was getting started on my Homecare / Hospice caseload, this RN had thoughts like: "I get paid for this?" "Wow!" Of course there were bad days too. I may tell you about a few of those eventually.
I remember passing a school and a sense of well-being which has happened a few times in my life. Driving down a hill, I decided instead of going straight, I would take a short cut. I had been to visit this patient before. So I hit the brakes as well as turned on my left turn signal and waited as a large pickup truck came toward me.
Then in my rearview mirror, I saw a white car perilously close. It hit my car from the rear. It pushed me into the lane of the pickup truck. I saw he had no place to go as a metal fence was on the edge of the cornfield.
I think I closed my eyes upon impact. Then I felt what I used as the title for this scenario. The most peace I have ever felt in my life.
It was beyond well-being.
It was beyond happiness.
It was beyond the best news possible.
It was beyond being sick and you realize you are better.
It was beyond the baby delivered and the pain ended.
It was beyond ANYTHING EVER EXPERIENCED BEFORE!
A knock on the passenger door ended the feeling of peace. I was able to roll down the window and began to shake all over. It was the guy driving the pickup truck. He kept saying how strong I must be and how well I did to keep my foot on the brake and keep my car out of his path. He said he would stay around and talk to the police when they arrived. He did not.
Another person came to the window . . it was the nurse who had just gotten off work from the hospital. She stated she saw my car with the brakes on and the turn signal on but she could not stop in time. She asked if I was OK and I hope I asked her the same but I cannot remember if I did. She did stay, of course, and talked to the policeman.
When I finally did get out of the car, my legs were shaky. I needed to call my husband, Jerry. I dialed the wrong number! What? I dialed the wrong number. I could not remember my own home phone. I waited a little bit and it came back to me. Jerry calmed me down and would meet me where the car would be towed. My supervisor arranged for my charts to be picked up by another nurse so the visits could still be made.
I talked with the policeman and told him about the guy that did not stay. If he is reading this I hope he reads to the end because it was not me being strong and keeping my foot on the brake that saved us from an accident.
I was so happy to see Jerry and get his hug. He was kind and understanding and still able to calm me down. You know why? Because he is a Vietnam Veteran who was hit by 2 mortar rounds and almost lost his legs. So that period of time was the hi / lo point of his life. He is an amazing man.
I was able to get to sleep that night but woke up @ 4 a.m. and was not able to get back to sleep. My mind started asking 100 questions. In my younger days, I drove a corvette and a van, but could I drive Jerry's 21 year old truck?
How much would the car cost?
(We later found out it was totaled.)
Will I lose my job?
What is going to happen?
So I did what I had done before that I learned from Hannah Whitall Smith in
The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life. The first 5 words of the 23rd Psalm are
The LORD IS MY SHEPHERD
So I would repeat The LORD is my shepherd.
The Lord IS my shepherd.
The Lord is MY shepherd.
The Lord is my SHEPHERD.
I was repeating that while imagining the well-known picture of Jesus holding a lamb and a staff while in the field with other sheep around Him.
While I was doing that, the picture in my mind changed without me deciding to change it. What I saw next was Jesus standing in front of my car right after the accident. He was facing me. No staff, no sheep but facing me, protecting me from the truck somehow. I don't know how He did it, I just know He did it.
He is the Good Shepherd and He is My Shepherd.
What is your favorite name for God? We should all have one. We all need to find Someone we can trust.