El Roi - is Hebrew for the God who sees me (pronounced El raw-EE)
I have to admit there are times where I know that God is right there and there are other times I find myself searching and wondering where He has gone to.
We all know life is a series of peaks and valleys - up one side and down the other. The timing of these journeys varies with each phase. Sometimes we stay up on the mountain longer and fight in the valleys for what may feel like an eternity.
The valleys can be our lowest times, our nadir, or our time of repetition. This has been the case many times over the course of my life - wanting, asking, waiting for God to speak in my valley and yet not hearing anything.
Occasionally a song will come along that puts into words the desires, feelings or thoughts of my heart. It happened this morning. A song I have heard on the radio has never affected me until I took the time to listen - really listen to the words.
The drive to and from work can be such a bonding time with God and this morning it certainly was. He spoke out of a song and I got to work soothed because my God let me know He has been hearing and seeing me - my El Roi. Oh He did not give me answers but it was not answers I had needed.
What I needed was simply to know I was seen and heard.
We often feel like the battle is just "ours" - no matter what the battle is. I know I get mad at myself for dealing with first world problems when there are so many people in the world fighting for their true survival. But the guilt of worrying that I am worrying is just another battle to fight.
When I realized that God had sent the song to let me know He saw and heard me - it was enough. I started to think about Jesus followers, I am talking about those who literally followed and walked with Him physically when He was on earth.
What was it about Jesus that attracted Him to them. I first thought it was His love - but when I read the words of Jesus, sometimes they do not appear to be all that loving. Sometimes His words confused people - for instance - "my kingdom is not of this world" and "I am the King of the Jews" - a huge contradiction and He never spelled it out clearly in many cases.
But flock to Him they came. Why?
Because it was safe. This man Jesus who took the world by storm and it still affecting it today, in His presence it is safe. He radically spoke out about injustice and undertook for the poor; He took on the challenges of the regular person instead of the elite. He took head on the pious religious hypocrites and finger pointers. It was safe, even if they did not understand what He was talking about - in His presence, it was safe.
That is why when He was crucified it was so detrimental and traumatic to His followers - He was safe and yet He could not save Himself - What they wondered, had happened?
He came back from the dead and explained why He had died - and once the disciples knew, really knew that their Jesus was their God - no matter what came at them and plenty did, as they were all martyred for their faith (except one); in His presence - they were safe once more.
This morning the song voiced out the words that I had not even been able to put together, into my heart they went and I knew that God was letting me know He was there - and in His presence I felt safe even though nothing physically had changed, but it had changed everything.