Jehovah Shammah~ The God Who is There

“…and the name of the city from that day shall be: THE LORD IS THERE.”
Ezekiel 48:35 (NKJV)

My hubs and I have lived in his childhood home for over twenty-three years. The house hovers on a hill over a small but vibrant lake. Decades ago, the lake was peppered with cabins and summer abodes. Today you’d be hard-pressed to find a cabin. Instead, temporary dwellings have morphed into permanent residences.

Today, when we have guests, a favorite past-time is to grab the lemonade (or wine), jump on the pontoon, and tour the lake. Folks soak up the landscape of homes and inevitably ask, “Who lives there?”

Funny, don’t you think? Oftentimes, our guests wouldn’t even know the residents if we told them. And yet, somehow, the home becomes more personal, even from a distance, when we identify who lives there.

Much of my adult faith journey has hovered around whether or not I believed that God was in my midst. I’ve never had a story of “overnight spiritual epiphanies.” Sometimes I wish I had. But God knows what is best, and so for me, my faith walk has been the slow and steady solidification of this truth––He is with me. Whatever I am dealing with, in that very moment, God is really, really there.

However, recently He’s been whispering another truth to my heart. He is not only the God who is with me at that moment––

He is Jehovah Shammah, the God Who is There.

It’s a small but earth-shattering shift.

What a gift to know that God is here. He is in this place. He’s in the middle of whatever it is we are dealing with.

But He is also there. He is in that place. He’s in the destination we have not yet reached. Some versions of scripture go so far as to say, He is “The God who lives there.”

I smile when I imagine riding through life on my figurative pontoon and the difference it makes when I look at an unknown future.

God lives there.

Suddenly, uncertainty holds no fear. My worries dissipate. I’m intimate with the One who lives in that far off place called the future. God is there.

Sisterhood Ministries (SHM) has been on one heck of a boat ride this past year. (Of course, so has the entire planet!) Those of us in leadership at SHM have wrestled with the future of this organization.

From the get-go, our conviction was that in-person gatherings were the core of who we are. Online community and online connection were never intended to be our primary focus, rather a supplement to traveling retreats.

Enter COVID. (Or as Jodie is fond of saying, “COVID is a dirty word around here… we just substitute it with “turtle”!) Turtle has thrown plenty of curveballs for plenty of peeps. Sisterhood Ministries has been no exception.

Consequently, after a tremendous amount of individual and corporate prayer, we’re taking a step back. Beginning in January of 2021, our website will be quiet for an undetermined length of time.

We’re guessing that sounds as ambiguous to you as it does to us! SO, we decided to make sure we close this post (and close this year) with what we are confident of:

Sisterhood Ministries may or may not continue, but that will never change that we have always been sisters in ministry and will always be sisters in ministry.
  • Some sisters share Christ’s love through creative design like calendars that help us pray or cards that encourage another sister.
  • Some teach biblical truths through written words in books and blogs.
  • Some of our sister’s minister through spoken word and song.
  • Some sisters encourage the peace of Christ on a yoga mat.
  • We are sisters in ministry, and that is not changing.
God is there. Despite an unknown future, there is nothing more certain than the truth that God is in it. Not because we deserve it, but because that is His promise to those who seek Him and believe in Him.

The board of Sisterhood Ministries will meet quarterly in 2021 to determine what/if there is something next for this organization. We will not “do something just to do it.” We will seek His clear leading in whatever may be next. In the meantime, we will honor Him in our areas of individual ministry.

It has been an absolute privilege to journey with so many sisters online. We remember your beautiful smiles from Zoom gatherings! We can’t forget the glee of Facebook parties! Your vulnerability in your prayer requests humbled us. The words some of you wrote and shared taught us. You are the ones who have shown us what “better together” looks like, and for that, we are eternally grateful.

May you and yours have a blessed holiday season!

Reflection Questions

1. It can be easy to worry about what lies ahead. It may be something personal, it may pertain to a loved one, or it may be related to something as surreal as a pandemic. It doesn’t matter what it is. The only thing that matters is what we believe about it.

 

Name one thing in your life that you have wondered about with regards to the future. Now imagine that situation being thoroughly cared for by God. Practice seeing any unknowns in the future through the lens of knowing God is there. He has gone ahead of you and is waiting there to journey through it with you.

 

 

2. At Sisterhood, we’ve had to ask ourselves if we “failed.” Have you ever had a situation in which elements that were out of your control tempted you to assume personal responsibility? If so, perhaps this quote will help (it helped us!) “When things don’t go as planned, we have to realize it’s not a matter of failure. It’s a matter of determining new goals and exchanging one for another.”

 

We are waiting on the Lord as we determine what that exchange looks like. How about you? Is there something that you need to reframe in your life that you considered a fail? If so, ask God to show you what it would like to see it as an exchange for something else. If you have to wait for that revelation, let’s agree together to be patient as each of learns to rest in this truth:

“Don’t overlook the obvious here, friends. With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change.” 2 Peter 3:9 MSG

Prayer

Father, we thank you for Your presence in our lives. This time of year is such a tender reminder of what You gave up so that we could know beyond a shadow of a doubt You are with us––God Emmanuel! As if that weren’t enough, You are the God who is also “there.” Your omnipresence is hard to comprehend. But lack of comprehension doesn’t change what is true. You are here now, and you have gone ahead of us! You are there, and You are waiting with open arms. We praise You for being the God Immanuel and the God Jehovah Shammah! And all God’s sisters said, Amen!

6 thoughts on “Jehovah Shammah~ The God Who is There

Jodie

Is is with me. God is here. God is there. So powerful! His omnipresence fascinates and excites me.

Reply

Cindy Wilkins

It has been a truly life-changing, privilege to be part of Sisterhood Ministries. You girls are such an inspiration to me! I will be praying that you will receive the guidance you need to know where God is leading! Thank you for your witness to us! For me, He has been there in YOU!

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    Kelly Stanley

    Cindy, you’ve been such a source of encouragement for all of us!

    Reply

Tara Boswell

It has been and is a Blessing to be apart of Sisterhoodminister in 2020. An I will be apart of Sisterhoodminister in 2021 and years to come. You are all truly have been a Blessing to me. All of you Women are an inspiration to me. In 2021 I am going to share Sisterhoodminister with ladies in my family and ladies in my church Family anf ladies friends. Thank you all for being apart of my life. I am truly happy to call all of you my close friends and my Sisters in Christ. Jesus Loves You and So Do I.

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Brandy Richardson

Thankful for the Sisterhood and all God has allowed you to bring to us over the past year. Thankful that whether together or apart, you are all still in ministry following God’s lead. This “turtle” has wreaked havoc on lives a plenty. For my family personally, we are now without a local church as the turtle played a part in crippling our campus financially which had led to its closure. BUT GOD is still moving and working and we are connected to an online church that is making a difference in both our lives. Despite not gathering corporately for over 9 months, God has been moving in my life more intimately and while I have seen many move further from during this time, He has drawn several in my circle even closer to Him. Whatever the furure holds for all of us, I’m thankful that we can trust who holds the future. Love and blessings to you all 💙

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Suzie Eller

Oh friends, I know how hard this is. “Turtle” has been a true mountain to climb. Just know that my table and heart are always open to you and I’m here to cheer you on, wherever God leads. Maybe soon you’ll be able to host those events, and when you do they will be amazing. Love, love you all. Suzie

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