Fill in the blanks correctly
On Mother’s Day, after having my necessary morning coffee, I had the amazing and touching privilege of having my three year old present me with a home-made card. His daddy had helped him fill in the blanks to finish sentences relating to my character. I’m sure you’ve seen these before, and they are normally a hoot. For instance, I learned that the thing I’m really good at is watching him play at the park. And I really like to wash my hair.
Getting to experience myself through his eyes helped to reveal another aspect of my relationship with my Heavenly Father. (Doesn’t that always happen as a parent? Almost like He planned it). I found myself telling the Lord, “I’m sorry if I get some of the blanks wrong for you sometimes. Please help me to fill them in correctly”. Are there days when I am walking around in a bad mood because that morning I filled in the line God is…. with “harsh, cruel, and impatient” instead of with the truth of “gracious, compassionate, and long-suffering”?
And if I’m honest, those days I fill in the blanks wrong about Him, I’ m drawing from earthly paradigms, and not from what He has said about Himself and demonstrated in His word. It’s a humbling moment when I have to ask my three year old to forgive me for yelling. Lord, give me patience and give it to me now…please.
It also gave me a deeper understanding of the concept of prayer and praise for our Heavenly Father. I know His thoughts are not our thoughts, but He is the one who picked the analogy of “parent/child” as one of the ways to help me conceptualize our relationship.
As I read his card, I thought, “Well, my son doesn’t quite fill in my blanks correctly yet, but it still means the world to me that he had SOMETHING to say about me, that he’s learning about me, and I know he will get those blanks right some day as our relationship matures”. Light bulb for this momma! Thank you Lord, I needed that.
He has revealed His character through His word, the Bible, and one of my favorite studies to reflect on are His different names. In moments of anxiety, just reflecting on these give me peace. Here are a few of my favorites with my brief reflections (this is by no means exhaustive or technical)
Elohim – Creator If He can create a universe, he can handle my problems. He’s in control
Jehovah Roi- Shepherd He is a good shepherd, and will never lead me where I shouldn’t be
El Roi – the God who sees He knows exactly where I am, and promises never to give me more than I can handle
Jehovah Nissi – My banner He is fighting my battles, and goes ahead of me. I belong to Him
Jehovah Rapha – Healer He will heal all our diseases, and most importantly, He has provided an escape from the ultimate – death.
Jehovah Jireh – Provider He has countless riches, and He knows what I need
There are some great compilations on youtube that I love to listen to about the Names of God. By the time I finish listening to them, I have a great peace (until my next scary mommy moment 5 minutes later. You did WHAT with your marker?! ) But sometimes listening to truth drowns out the negative thoughts and lies better than reading. Agree?
So instead of ascribing characteristics to God that don’t belong, I endeavor to fill in the blanks on my cards to Him correctly. The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in goodness and truth. Exodus 34:6
Heavenly Father, please help us today to fill in your blanks correctly. Please reveal the truths of your character to us so that we can rest in your sovereignty, and so that when we meet you face to face we will already know and understand many of your names.