The call came at midnight.
I rushed to my daughter’s house so her husband could take her to the emergency room. Another health crises loomed, and I was needed to stay with the children.
Not long after they left, my granddaughter, Natilee, awoke. She cried in confusion as her eight-month-old eyes searched for her momma.
I nestled her close and whispered in her ear. “There, there little one. Your pastor’s wife is here.”
Or maybe I said, “Settle down, sweetheart. Mrs. Shelley has you.”
Or perhaps I crooned, “Hush, hush now. I’m an author. I got this.”
Pretty silly, right?
In that moment, I snuggled her. Rubbed her back. Rocked her and breathed, “Grandma’s here. Everything is okay.”
She relaxed and fell asleep.
Someday, Natilee may want to know me as a pastor’s wife, Mrs. Shelley the Children’s Ministry Director, or Shelley Pierce the author. But for now, what speaks straight to her heart, is Grandma.
In the Old Testament, God revealed Himself through names that show His character and power. Titles that exposed who He is and what He does. Those names continue to speak to us today.
Knowing God through His biblical names is an amazing adventure that will move our children from the creation of all that is, through battles and wars, promises made and kept, and so much more.
Imagine discovering Elohim together, the creator and sustainer of all that exists. Genesis chapter one introduces God as Elohim. Elohim is plural; how cool is that? In the first verse of the first chapter of the first book in the Bible we learn Jesus was right there with the Father, active in the creation of the world!
Oh, the anxiety that might be avoided when we learn God said “I created it and I will keep it going.”
We learn He is El Shaddai, Almighty God—the God of more than enough as we journey with Abram and see God’s hand on an old man called to a new purpose. El Shaddai’s resources never run out. Not only does He own more than enough, He IS more than enough to fulfill our needs.
Our children can know God as the powerful provider with no end.
We can discover together He is Adonai—Lord and Master. In Judges, we see Gideon hiding from his enemies and we hear the Angel of the Lord call him a mighty warrior. We experience what happens with Gideon as he moves from doubt to submission, recognizing Adonai as the owner of everything. God’s authority over all is shown when Gideon submits to the Lord and obeys God’s instructions.
Gideon learns a battle too big for him is not too large for Adonai, Lord and Master of all that is.
What about Hagar? Alone in the desert. Afraid. Nowhere to turn.
And then the Angel of the Lord ministers to her—the servant girl who had no one but the baby growing within her—and in Genesis 16:13 she exclaims, “You are El Roi, the God Who Sees me!”
Many times in scripture, God tells us He hears our cries, see’s our oppression, knows our pain. Oh, that our children would know, He is still the God Who Sees!
Yahweh Jehovah—I AM, appeared to Moses in the form of a bush on fire yet the bush did not burn. From the flames He sent Moses on a mission to free the children of Israel from their Egyptian oppressors. Moses couldn’t see how God could possibly accomplish the task. Yet he bowed before Yahweh and obeyed.
Imagine the security we gain as our faith grows in the comfort and strength of Yahweh, the great I AM. Yahweh, the One who will continue to be who He has always been. Our children will see and feel many changes in their lives. Often change that unsettles and knocks them off balance. We can point them to the God who never changes.
These are just a few of the names of God as revealed in scripture through His work in the lives of ordinary people. Oh, that we would learn God’s character through His names and know—because of Who He is—we don’t need to feel defeated in the storms of life.
Oh, that we would learn God’s character through His names and know—because of Who He is—we don’t need to feel defeated in the storms of life. #parenting #NamesOfGodTweet
What a joy to open The Word with our children and to walk alongside God’s people as He reveals Himself in ways we understand.
What a privilege to ask the Holy Spirit to open their eyes to God’s power and plan that will one day lead to an open heart.
May we pray for our children to know the God who will gather them in His strong arms and whisper, “There, there little one. Your Jehovah has you.”
To read more from Shelley and to check out her recently released book, Get Off the Struggle Bus: https://amzn.to/3de4q1X