(“Let them praise your great and awesome name—he is holy”–Psalm 99:3.)
Oh, yes, Lord. By your names your character is revealed. By your names we learn of your greatness—a greatness that does not dwell solely in the cosmos. Your greatness surrounds each of your children and even lives within us.
Rock – immovable and unchanging
Light – teaching and guiding
Shepherd – caring and protective
Vine – strengthening and empowering
Refuge – comforting and protecting
As if that wasn’t enough, there are many more names that seek to quantify your marvelous character.
Even more amazing, I have seen your glorious attributes revealed in my life.
You are my Rock when hurtful, stressful circumstances threaten to crush me.
You are my Light, showing me the way. Sometimes I haven’t even been aware until afterwards. I’m thinking of our move to this community and to the church where Steve is ministering. You guided us to such a warm, supportive congregation!
You are my Shepherd, watching over me every moment. Even in small matters you intervene…
…Remember the day I woke up with vertigo—a day that five guests were coming for lunch? Yes, we could have postponed the date, but some of the food was already prepared. You answered my prayer, though, and by 10:00 I was feeling much better. Somehow, with the time remaining, final prep was completed, the table set, and the house tidied up. YOU made it all happen! (And thank you for adding your miraculous touch to the chicken—after I messed up the recipe! Our guests loved it!)
You are my Vine, nurturing me to be fruitful, strong, and satisfied. With creativity and clear purpose you speak to me. Sometimes you impress me through scripture and other readings, sometimes it’s through people or events.
When my dear friend, Micki, was diagnosed with cancer, she said, “I don’t ask, ‘Why me?’ I ask, ‘Why not me?’” Some time later, I faced difficult circumstances of my own. The Spirit brought her words back to my mind, giving me strength and resolve. (P.S. Thank you for shepherding Micki through that trauma and healing her!)
You are my Refuge, “an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
What a loving Heavenly Father you are, coming alongside when problems and conflicts arise. I’m thinking of a worrisome conference with the parents of one of my students. The day of the meeting you gave me a special scripture, even though I wasn’t looking for one:
[God] is a shield to those who take refuge in him” (Proverbs 30:5).
I pictured you as a shield between the parents and me! I felt your presence, calming my nerves and helping me articulate the concerns. Though I did not receive an apology from this couple, there were no recurrences of misunderstanding the rest of the year.
Those are just a handful of examples. When I think that you are manifesting your greatness on my behalf every day, my heart overflows with gratitude and praise!
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Thank you, Father, that you are Rock-Light-Shepherd-Vine-Refuge. You are unchanging, never-failing, and always caring. May I rest in the knowledge of your great names that speak to the magnificence of your character.
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What name of God means the most to you right now? Is it one of these five or another? Share with us your story in the comments below!