I finally successfully waded through the book of Ezekiel as part of my chronological Bible reading plan. I haven’t studied this book in years. I texted my friend Kelly to ask her how she handles all the destruction and sadness of a people now in captivity who suffer so much for their disobedience to God. We discover a holy God and the high cost of sin. We discover all God will do to purify the heart. She tells me to keep reading, that it’s worth it. And she’s right. By the end of Ezekiel, I learn a special name of God:
Jehovah Shammah–The Lord is There.
Even in captivity, The Lord is There. Even in sickness, The Lord is There. Even in any situation–no matter how terrible–what matters is The Lord is There. He is with us, near, and fully present. He is active, attentive, and helping. He is comforting; He is strengthening. And as I think about the coming Savior who is Immanuel–God with us–I understand how The Lord is There becomes an indwelling experience by the Holy Spirit. It’s a sublime moment to consider: Right here, right now, The Lord is There. Jehovah-Shammah!
I realize this: I’d rather be in captivity or sick with Jesus than without Him. I’d rather be anywhere, in any kind of pain if God is there. And I don’t need to fear the future if The Lord is There. I don’t need to worry about my body if The Lord is There.
Where is our “there” that feels so hopeless and sad? What “there” do we fear most? We don’t have to live in this kind of despair because the Lord is “There.”
The Lord is There. I worship Him as Jehovah Shammah.