Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner. Exodus 17:15 NIV
Growing up my sister and I would tease my mom because of all the names she had growing up. “Okay, Toni, Laverne, Theresa, Hodge, Moore, Wright!” We would laugh together at the sheer idea of having so many names to call her. Of course, some of her names were actually given to her at birth but some were inherited as she navigated her way through life. Depending on the time in her life, she needed a new name for the season.
The Lord’s names are also reflective of the season we are in and what we call him during those times. For instance, when the Lord provides for me, I think of Him as Jehovah Jireh, my provider. When I am in the middle of a storm, He is my peace, Jehovah Shalom. When my heart is broken he is simply, my Lord. He is my Strong Tower, Prince of Peace, servant, Emmanuel, Lord of Hosts (Jehovah Sabaoth), Elohim, when I am sick He is Jehovah Rapha. I could go on and on but you get the picture. I marvel at all of the names of the Lord and who He has been to me in every situation in my life. I remember all the ways He showed up on my behalf.
I remember the time when I had the same coat for ten years. I remember when the only stores I could shop at included the word “dollar” in the name. I remember when shopping at Goodwill provided me a sofa and loveseat. I remember it was a very good night when I could include hot dogs in my top ramen. I remember when the broom was my snow removal tool. I remember when washing clothes was a luxury. I remember when…….
The coat that I had for ten years, I still have it. I almost got rid of it this weekend until I realized that it serves a purpose and has become an altar in my life. An altar serves as a reminder that God showed up, that when all seemed lost, God was faithful. The coat represents God’s faithfulness to me during a time when I couldn’t afford a new coat. The coat represents God’s favor on my life that not only could I not afford a new coat, I didn’t need one either. It supplied the need. I thank God for that coat. The coat that only cost $30 that withstood ten long winters, represents God’s love for me. The Lord has personally become my Jehovah Nissi!
“Yet the Lord says, “During the forty years that I led you through the wilderness, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet.” Deuteronomy 29:5 NIV
We need to remember. It’s useful to remember. It’s humbling to remember. I may choose to donate my 20 year-old coat or maybe even keep it for another seven years. Whichever way I decide, I will always remember The Lord as my banner, my Jehovah Nissi.
Thank you Lord for giving me understanding. Your ways are far beyond what I could ever think or imagine. I am forever grateful for the Holy Spirit that continues to lead me in the ways of truth. I thank you for providing for me and being faithful to me during my lean times. You are worthy to be praised! Amen!