Monday, January 30, 2023

The Names of God - El Shomri

God is my protector

Why am I writing about the names of God?   El Shomri, another name for God, means God is my protector.  While there is no specific instance of a person in the Bible calling God this name directly, it is used several times in the Psalms..

Psalm 31:20:  'In the shelter of your presence you hide them from all human intrigues;  you keep them safe in your dwelling from accusing tongues.'

Psalm 121:5-6:  'The Lord watches over you— the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.'

So how have I seen God as my protector?

Experience #1: The Landslide

In the early spring of 1990, the Vancouver coast got a lot of rain - notably more than it usually gets.  I was a freshman, majoring in music at a college close to Abbotsford at this time.  The college was located up a hill in the small town of Clayburn, BC.  It poured so much one cold weekend that the road up to the college washed out.  There had been a significant landslide, and it was within walking distance of our dorm.  

Road Washout in Clayburn, BC
Road Washout at WPBC in Clayburn, BC

That afternoon couple of sophomores came up to the dorm, muddy all over.  They said there was some incredible mud - almost like quicksand - at the bottom of the landslide and it was 'pretty cool' to mess around it.  Being relatively young and inexperienced, I thought this sounded like a bunch of fun.  I changed into some throw-away cloths and headed down with them to the slide.  Sure enough, it was quite muddy down there and the mud was deep.  One could easily sink dangerously low if not careful.  We spent the better part of 45 minutes down there exploring the slide.  

S.A. and G.D playing with me in the mudslide
S.A and G.D playing with me in the mudslide

What I didn't think about until decades later was what a dangerous position we put ourselves in playing in the mud at the bottom of the slide.  Very often (particularly if the rain keeps up) a secondary slide can happen.  We would've been directly in its path and would've stood no chance in getting to safety.  Maneuvering in that mud was slow and painstaking work.  God protected us in our youthful ignorance there that day.

Experience #2: Kamikaze Deer

Fast-forward 15 years to 2005.  Our family was on a trip from Calgary to Edmonton to celebrate a new business contract I had just signed.  We always prayed for God's protection before we left on longer driving trips like this, and on this trip was saw Him answer quite tangibly.

After praying, the kids settled in the backseat of our Honda Accord and we left.  The speed limit on that freeway between Calgary and Edmonton is 110km/hr and we were going at least that fast.  :-)  We had just crested a long hill and had a beautiful view as we continued north.  This particular day, the view happened to include a herd of deer sprinting from the west side of the highway, intent on crossing the highway and making their way east.  

I noticed them from a long way off and continued speeding north, confident that they would pass some distance in front of us, which they did.  Unseen until too late was a straggler to their group.  This deer's life mission was to catch up to its buddies.  I didn't expect the deer to be so single-minded, so I kept moving.  Our trajectories met - the deer realizing this before me, jumped and managed to mostly hurtle the car.  The car grazed its legs as it flew over our roof.  This caused the deer to fall when it landed.  It quickly got up and followed its friends east.  I continued north with a good shot of adrenaline and a lot of questioning from my wife.  The car had a hardly noticeable bump on the roof and an absent radio antenna after that.  God really protected us there.

Experience #3: Post-Covid Flying

In the last 5 months, I've done a bunch of flying - some personal and some business.  I've logged close to 20,000 miles on 12 flights through/to 7 airports in 6 countries.  There have been lots of Covid strains in the air during that time, many of them 'more virulent and contagious'  than before.  To my chagrin, I've sat beside people who have coughed halfway across the continent.  We've prayed for God's protection as we've travelled and we haven't gotten sick.  I genuinely see that as God's protection as the planes, airports, and security lines are always crowded with few people wearing masks.

My wife and I flying to Poland in Sept 2022 - God's Protection
My wife and I flying to Poland in Sept 2022

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