The Tetragrammaton

Verses for thought: Psalm 135:6, Exodus 3:14, Luke 9:24. 

While it may sound like a name for a transformers sequel, the Tetragrammaton is just a fancy name for God. It comes from the Name God speaks to Moses in Exodus 3:14, “I AM WHO I AM” (also translatable as “I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE”). That name is so holy in Judaism that it is not even spoken, just left as a set of four consonants indicating the word referenced.*

There’s an aspect of God I find very hard to explain, yet feel very affectionate for. I think the closest word I can find for it is stubborn… He WILL be what He will be, He WILL do what He will do. He’s unapologetic, in an age where most people couch their words with apologies and self-deprecation. So many people now open their sentences with phrases like, “with all due respect,” or, “I’m not telling you what to think.” People emphasize that they don’t want to pressure you to feel one way or another, that they want to find a common ground.

God the Father is the opposite. He cares very deeply for you… but He does not give a flip if what He says offends you. He’s not here to nurse your delicate sensibilities or find a way to make His beliefs match your own. In fact, He says that those who do such things are bad for you (2 Tim 4:2-4)

Jesus says we must all carry our cross (Luke 9:23). It’s not a cross thrust on you in punishment, it’s a cross voluntarily accepted in humility, the one we take on our shoulders the day we decide to follow our Savior. I realized a long time ago that, once you decide to become a Christian, the cross you bear every day is exquisitely hand-carved for you by the Person who loves you most in the world. It may not always make sense. But when you understand this, you will never have to fear anything again. 

With Love,

Morgan Hart

*Footnote: Technically this explanation of the Tetragrammaton is an oversimplification, but it would take pages and pages to explain the subtleties of the Hebrew language, why it’s an oversimplification, and more significantly, it wouldn’t change the point being made. 

My Snuggly Bunny

The other day, I saw an image that took my breath away. It was a pastel watercolor of a young boy, falling asleep on a porch swing, with a young rabbit curled up on his chest. The image was so gentle, so peaceful, that it brought tears to my eyes.

With a little research, I found out it was from this book:

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Furtively, I went online to order a used copy. Looking over my shoulder, I made sure no one saw me order it, made sure it would come in a plain brown box, as if I was buying something obscene!

This is how deeply I hate being the sensitive person that I am. It feels too much like weakness to me. I hate personality tests that rate other people as “lions” or “wolves” while rating me as a “dove” or “doe” or another useless, severely weak animal.

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I hate people seeing me crying at a movie, or looking at a children’s book. I even hated it when I had my first child, and some coworkers came to visit. I felt pathetic and laughable to be seen in such a state, marked as I was by blood and bandages, not fully dressed, unable to sit up unassisted. While I loved my child like crazy, the presence of a newborn in my arms did not help. In my mind, this one visit ruined the image I had worked so hard to cultivate: the image of a strong, self-assured, working woman.

It hasn’t gotten any easier since that day. In mixed company, I avoid talking about being an artist, for fear that it will make me look moody. I avoid owning anything that is too pink, too lacy, or too silly, for fear I won’t be taken seriously. I think about creativity and emotion – my “soft” side – as something inferior, an embarrassment that must be covered up at all costs.

This time, though, God has not been silent on the matter. He told me that while I may despise my “soft” side, it’s actually the part of me that most closely resembles Him. He said love and sensitivity – and with it, the ability to be hurt – were Godlike traits. He said that the problem was not sensitivity at all: it was the fact that someone, influenced by the Devil, had told me that I shouldn’t be that way.

In my mind’s eye, I saw a flowing river, and at one spot, its movement was being impeded by an ugly, rock-covered sand bar, jutting out almost to my full height. Jesus told me not to worry, that we’d work on it together, over time. And He took my hand and told me that He loves me.

He loves me.

I can’t count the number of times He’s told me this, sometimes through others, sometimes through scriptures, and sometimes from His own mouth; but every single time, it catches me off guard. He loves me. The God of all the Universe loves me.

Beloved Readers,

May you find His love today and throughout the week.

Sincerely,

Morgan Grace Hart
Scripture for Today:
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death
— even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.”
Philippians 2:1-11 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Philippians%202:1-11&version=NIV