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SMC Women's Ministry

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Posts tagged Names of God
From One Salvaged Gal To Another: This Is For You

One Saturday morning at the end of January, my husband’s brother and his family came to visit us from out of town for a weekend. It was my sister-in-law’s (or sister-by-love as she puts it) birthday in a couple of weeks, so as a gift I took her to one of her favorite places on earth – an old warehouse near downtown Burlington, NC where she could pick out something she’d like. From an old warehouse.

This “warehouse” has become well-known in the state of NC and surrounding states to those who like to search for little (or big) treasures that other people consider to be junk. But those others find “junk” to be beautiful and useful. They’ll search for it, and are willing to drive for a few hours to salvage something. My sister-by-love is one of them.

And that leads to the name of this warehouse converted to a shop: Salvage Sisters. They are two, very talented sisters who love Jesus, love people, and love to make something beautiful and new from something old and worn out.

After breakfast we headed to the shop. Once there, my sister-by-love and I had gone through the shop probably two times and she wanted to go around a third time to get some ideas for the embellishing, vintage business she and her sister own in Virginia. But I decided to stop and control myself because I was gifting her this time, not myself. I found myself starting up a conversation with a gal who wore a Salvage Sisters shirt whom I assumed worked there. Well, I learned it was one of the sisters. In our nice conversation, she mentioned something about her employees which caught my attention. Employees. I thought, “Oh, this would be a fun place to work.” I happened to be looking for a part-time job and heard myself asking her, “You were just talk about your employees. Are you by chance in need of another one?”

To my surprise, she said, “Yes, we actually are.” A week later, I was given the offer to work for them at their vintage shop. It’s really been fun working there a couple weekends a month but not only have I learned my responsibilities, but God has also been teaching me something else as well.

You see, if you’re like me, whatever age you are, there’s been times when you’ve felt run down, broken, useless, or like you’re drowning in demands. Maybe you’ve felt like a worn-out, rusty piece of junk from a salvage pile, questioning if there’s anymore purpose for it.

Salvage. In a broad term, salvage means “rescue anything from danger” but often refers to shipwrecks. That’s when people would try to “salvage” what they could from the wreck or a storm. It’s what they could hold onto, even if it wasn’t in a great condition anymore. The root of that word goes way back in time; the origin of the word salvage is “salver”, which means “to save”.

And what is the original definition of “salver”, or “to save” you may ask? Well, it means, “to rescue from peril, bring to safety” and also”prevent the death of”. When looking at its use in Scripture though, it means “to deliver from sin or its consequences; admit to eternal life; gain salvation.”

Now hang in there with me because this all ties together. With this crazy interest, I discovered that the ancient Hebrew word for rescue or deliver is “yasha”. And do you know that Jesus’ name in Hebrew is Yeshua that comes from the word “yasha”? Yeshua, the One who came to rescue and deliver us. (And it’s interesting to learn that the Greek word for “please save” is hosanna, but that can be for another time!)

I’m so undeserving of being rescued. I’m grateful for being salvaged and even more, for the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. Yeshua.

“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” (Isaiah 12:2)

Working at Salvage Sisters has caused me to think about the meaning of salvage. Salvage is searched for and then once found, is restored and brought back to purpose. Our broken bodies and worn-out hearts can be restored, renewed, reused and repurposed. In different times in our lives, God will work through us in different, and ususally unexpected, ways. But occasionally through time or challenges, we become worn out and feel like we’re falling apart. That’s when GOD strengthens us to be restored and renewed for the next plans and purpose He has for us.

Jesus, Yeshua’s, purpose, while on this earth, was to come rescue us. He rescued us on the cross when his body was broken and then resurrected! He came and searched for you and found you. He’ll repair your brokenness and restore you with a new purpose. Even if I carry some of the scars, or wrinkles (yeah, I’m definately looking older than I did 20 years ago), He can still use me – and you – to bring Him glory. And that’s really our true calling and purpose no matter what our condition is – to give God GLORY for WHO HE IS. HE IS the Creator of all things and HE IS OUR SALVATION!

Beth

Yahweh Rapha - Healer for All

My 5-year-old son is mostly a daredevil. It used to terrify me, but once I realized that God has given this gift to him and will take care of him, I found (more) peace watching him play. But with his daredevil mentality comes MANY falls, bruises, scrapes and cuts. I’ve been amazed at how a simple band-aid can fix practically anything for him. Apparently, I’ve forgotten that they have magical healing powers.

Adults don’t usually receive the flesh wounds from jumping off the of things, or learning to ride a bike. Typically, our wounds are not anything a band-aid can fix: illness, emotional pain or even just stress from the heaviness of life. This is when we seek out doctors to heal our medical issues; psychiatrists to heal our mental concerns and massage therapists to heal our tired, achy muscles. People don’t always need initials after their name to provide some healing to others. Friends and loved ones can help relieve a heavy heart. But only God can do ALL of these things and heal us fully.

There is a lot of meaning behind names. So, what is the name you call God? Today, for our Names of God series, let’s focus on God as healer, Yahweh Rapha.

I am the Lord who heals you. (Exodus 15:26)

I interpret this verse in Exodus as result of God’s frustration with the Israelites who had just watched Moses, through God, part the Red Sea. Only three days into the journey of Moses leading the Israelites to the Promised Land, they were hungry and thirsty. They came to Marah but couldn’t drink the water because it was bitter. The people began grumbling and turned their anger and frustration toward Moses.

"Then Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became fit to drink. There the Lord issued a ruling and instruction for them and put them to the test." (Exodus 15:25 NIV)

It was then that God gave further instruction and we begin to know Him as Healer: He said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in His eyes; if you pay attention to His commands and keep all His decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.” (Exodus 15:26)

I like the way Wendy Blight puts it in her book I Know His Name, Discovering Power in the Names of God. She tells us that “God calls us to trust in Him no matter our circumstances. He gives us His names so that we can know Him. Friends, we only trust those we know and we cannot trust God if we don’t know God.

And so, God sent Jesus to show us that relationships are more important than rules – especially our relationship with our healer – Yahweh Rapha.

One of my favorite stories of Jesus healing is found in Mark. Here, we learn of an unnamed woman who suffered from bleeding for 12 years and was immediately healed simply by touching Jesus’ robe as He walked by (Mark 5:29). I love this because we see the incredible faith of this woman who KNEW that by touching even His robe, she would be healed. It also reveals a little of how the healing powers of Jesus worked.

The Bible said, “At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from Him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” Mark 5:30. Jesus’ healing wasn’t just something He did, Jesus actually FELT His healing powers.

And finally, I love this because it shows that for Jesus, He needed the connection. He didn’t like knowing He healed someone, but didn’t actually SEE them or SPEAK to them. “But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it.” Mark 5:32.

God wants to be connected to us.

In the story of Lazarus being brought back to life, I love how Jesus didn’t rush to save him. He had Mary and Martha wait a couple days when Lazarus was sick before He visited and healed him – bringing him back to life.

It is here, that I first learned crying isn’t only okay, it’s an important part of God’s healing.

In each of the four gospels, the writers all made mention of Jesus weeping. John says this after Jesus spoke with Mary: When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept". (John 11:33-35 NIV).

Jesus was comforted by the healing powers of His tears.

Today, most of the healing we see daily isn’t as dramatic as it was in the Bible. That doesn’t matter. What really matters is that we know God so well, that when difficulty and challenges arrive, we have the faith to sustain us and become better through it all.

Just like the Israelites, the bleeding woman and Mary and Martha, we are given opportunities along our journey to trust that God will provide for our needs. What’s important is that we build our relationship with Him, stay connected and that we realize, we need to cry sometimes.

He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. (Psalm 147:3 NLT)

And it is in this verse that we learn Yahweh Rapha comes with the biggest and best magical healing band-aid around.

He can cure us all.

Angie Hailey

Alpha and Omega - All the Things

We’re continuing our look at the Names of God with Alpha and Omega. You don’t actually get to this exact phrase until Revelation, which was a surprise to me. And not just surprising, but a little intimidating. I mean, who doesn’t want to write on Revelation, right? Allow me to share some encouragement from this most intimidating book of the Bible.

Revelation 1:8 says, “'I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.’” Pop on over to chapter 22, verse 13 and you get a little more: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet and omega is the last. If Jesus were speaking to us, in English, he would be saying something like, “I’m everything, A to Z.” Everything. The beginning and the end and all the things in between. He has always been here and will always be here. There’s great comfort in that thought. John 1:3 (The Message) puts it a different way: “Everything was created through him; nothing – not one thing! – came into being without him.”

When researching this topic, I found a sermon on the Desiring God website that I really wanted to share a piece of. John Piper wrote these words and they hit me hard. God is not a piece of reality that you try to fit in with other pieces. He is the first and the last and the all-encompassing reality: "In him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28).

So we know what this name tells us about the character of God. Now what do we do with that? How does it change us to be reminded that God is in everything from beginning to end? I think that answer changes among different women, and even changes through the ebb and flow of our own lives. What is going on in your own life that you needed to find God in? Christians live our lives really taking for granted that God is always there, but often without noticing it. You know He’s there, but do you KNOW it?

I’ve had a hard week or so. It has probably been harder because I’ve been so wrapped up in my own stuff that I have forgotten to look for God in the mess. It is embarrassing to admit that, but it won’t get better if I don’t acknowledge it. Being a mom is hard and we’re in a rough phase right now with one child in particular. And we’re potty training one (prayers appreciated). I’ve been having some medical tests that aren’t a lot of fun. And I’m trying to navigate a damaged relationship that has knocked the breath out of me.

None of these situations are unique. Every person reading this has been through some or all of the things I’m describing. But the thing that I’ve missed is asking for help from the One who can help. Or just talking through it with Him. How did I get so involved in the mess that I forgot I have access to the Alpha and Omega?

To be reminded that we know and are loved by the One who is the Beginning and the End of EVERYTHING? That is powerful stuff y’all. There is nothing He hasn’t seen. I saved my favorite reference for last. Revelation 21:6 says, “He said to me: ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.’” Ladies, I’m thirsty. Are you? Drink up!

Julie