Jehovah Nissi and Our Stories


How does the JehovahNissi story line up with your story?

Are you finding yourself "fixing your eyes on Jesus" in the midst of your unexpected circumstances?

Three years ago we moved from Nevada to New Jersey and I thought I might go crazy getting us here. We had a lifetime of boxes and closets to sort and pack and divvy up and give away. Some of our kids were staying in Reno for college and some were moving east. We had a big garage sale, painted and retiled and put the house on the market. We had PODS in the driveway and bubble wrap and tape guns on the tables. On the side we were getting ready to host a group of executives from Brazil for an executive education course we run in the summer. It required every drop of energy and attention I could muster.

At least that is what I thought before the unexpected came crashing in. Within a week we were hit with threatened legal action against one of our boys, the sudden and unexpected loss of a dear friend, and a broken collar bone after a midnight romp of long-boarding, There was a car accident in there leaving another son stranded at Lake Tahoe and Dale was out of the country on business. It was nuts. I wanted to move forward with grace and love and kindness and diligence but l was losing perspective on what to do next and I was really tired.

That was the summer God became JehovahNissi for me.

In the wide open desert at the end of our street I took 15 minute walks and prayed for focus and clarity, "God, I need you to be JehovahNissi for me. Life is swirling out of control and I don't think I can do everything I am supposed to do. Keep me focused on You in the middle of the craziness." He centered me. Somehow most things got done. Conflicts were resolved, friends pitched in, the collar bone healed. The house never sold, but in the end we were happy about that and have good renters. I could have prayed for all of the same things without knowing God as JehovahNissi, but knowing Him by that name reminds me that my story is a continuation of His ancient story. And it is a really good story to be in.

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Most of us wrestle with the idea that bad things happen even when God is right there. It might seem contradictory that the "with God" life does not guarantee a trouble free existence. God is tender and compassionate and gets it when we hurt. In the middle of our unexpected circumstances God wants to be JehovahNissi for us.

Last week in the city where we raised our kids there was a shooting at the middle school in the morning before school started. Mr. Michael Landsberry, a favorite math teacher, walked between the 12 year old shooter and the other kids on the playground hoping to persuade the boy to hand over the gun. Two kids were hit and Mr. Landsberry was killed before the 12 year old took his own life. For 21 years Sparks was my city. Our friends are there. Our three oldest boys attended Sparks Middle School and Tre, our 21 year old did a practicum with Mr. Landsberry a couple of years ago when he was learning how to be a teacher. Just last month Tre was a substitute teacher at another middle school in Sparks. This tragedy struck close to home. In a city where I know there are lots of people who honor God and honor His name something horrible happened.

It doesn't mean God was not there.

Some of our best friends lead the church a few blocks from Sparks Middle School and in the midst of grief and confusion they are pointing people to Jesus. When life is too hard and it doesn't make sense we look to Jesus and we hold the hands of people around us and try to help them see Jesus too.

Do you lead? Are you holding Jesus high?

Can you hold up the arms of people who lead?

Maybe God is taking the ordinary pieces of your life and using them to point people to Himself. How is He doing that?


How are you learning to know God as JehovahNissi
?





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