Tongue Tied

[Let’s pray together]

I don’t speak Hebrew or Latin, so please forgive the way I’m about to butcher your names.
You gave them to me: they’re in your Word. So, I’m going to act as though they are for me to use.

Father, you are Jehovah and Yahweh.

Your name is like ‘your Majesty’, to me.
Even though you’re with me, there’s a state room in Heaven. There’s a throne and it never stands empty: even while you’re down in the dredge with me, sat beside me as a friend and companion, there is a place where you keep your seal.
An unquestionable position.
A permanent authority.

Father, you are Jehovah Tsidkenu. Yahweh Tsidkenu.
You are Righteousness with a capital letter.

Not just your own, though it is endless and expansive. You’re mine.
My righteousness: I’ve read it, sung it, but with one eye on the television. A distracting ‘otherness’ that makes my blood pump and start to drown out my Righteousness with my Pursuit.
I’m running a race that, in essence, you won for me.
This is just my victory lap.

Jehovah, Yahweh, you are Mekaddsh.
Sanctified. With an ies or and ing in my life.

Yes, there are standards you set for me – you love the way I’m always pushing, always intent on the ‘next’ and the ‘better’ in me.
But, you’re the one who makes it something. You take the work and you make it impactful. You add meaning and life into any success I could bring to myself.
Every day, I brush my teeth and you are making me Holy.
I think of you, I pray with you and it’s chatter to Heaven, but it’s your work.
You are making ‘Holy’ happen within me.

Shalom – it’s one that sounds familiar.
You are Peace.

Is that what it means when said as a farewell or a blessing? Not ‘go with the hope of Peace’ or ‘be peaceful ‘til I see you next’.
Peace. God. “Hey, look, that guy is here again. Always.”
Lord, you are That Guy. You are Peace.
That’s why I can’t find it – why sitting and drawing on my will just feels like ‘almost’.
You’re the Peace. In your grace, kindness, presence.
By being who You are.

Jehovah Shammah, Yahweh Shammah.
He is there.

Like the Hollywood sign blots out ‘Los Angeles’, people can look and see who’s on the hill: Yahweh Shammah. He is there.
As I approach new roads and valleys or clamber up a hill I can’t name, I can still plant flags: Yahweh Shammah. It’s fact as much as it’s a promise.
So, everywhere is known to me, all ready.
It’s familiar, because, You’re there.

Jehovah Rophe is the name for a strong river-current in my life.
Yahweh Rophe: the one who is healing me.

While at other times I’ve sung your name out and known you overwhelmingly, this is the name I feel. The one that has held me so much I know it more as soul-glue. Heart-plasters.
Another reason to get up. Another way to try again.
Yahweh Rophe, I don’t see all the places that you move.
But, you know all of me.
You are Hope in the face of all odds.

Jehovah Jireh,
you provide.

I’m sure it’s no coincidence that we got this name when Abraham needed it. You were Jehovah Jireh: a ram in the bushes.
You showed up when there seemed like no other options.
Yahweh Jireh, help me to look among the thorns of my life. To see beyond the big ways you come and give, to the “small” and the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it.
Yahweh Jireh: the words and moments of comfort. The hand in the small of the back; a gentle push that makes the next step possible.
With every new day I have, let me know where it comes from.
My provider.

Lord, you’re Jehovah Nissi and Yahweh Nissi.
My banner.

You are the General in every battle I set to. You don’t sit on the sidelines or even march beside me, you are at all sides and you equip me with your wisdom.
You have more tactical ways of peace. An undefeatable love for my enemies.
I might be smart, I might be weathered, but your victories outweigh the ocean.
You have fought and won and rallied, and you are not too proud to start again with me.
I’m you’re Ward.
We’ll do this together.

Jehovah Rhoi,
the Lord is my Shepherd.

You will fight bears and lions to protect me. You give me space to wander and bring me out of ravines on your shoulders.
You are equipped to fight for me. You calm me in storms and keep me close.
I don’t just serve an end to you, I am an investment. You pour your time and resources into my life, making my world a place to thrive.
You can pick me out of the crowd and, slowly, I’m learning to hear the way you say my name.
Jehovah Rhoi.
The one responsible for me.

I still don’t speak Hebrew or Latin. I’ve barely scratched the varnish from the true depths of your names.
But, let me meet you these ways, throughout my life.
Give me a shorthand, a nickname, to help me really ask for what I need.
To really know who my God has, is, and will be.

Jehovah, Tsidkenu, Mekaddsh, Shalom, Shammah, Rophe, Jireh, Nissi, Rhoi.


In Jesus’ name




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