For a while my family was fortunate to live next to the Pacific Ocean in Southern California. Daily we witnessed the majesty of God’s creation shown through the beautiful ocean. Occasionally, we would make the quarter–mile trip down the road and descend the incredibly steep trail to a cove. There was some sand in the cove, but most of the landscape teemed with large rocks the size of cars and some the size of the foundations of small buildings. These large rocks were firmly planted on the shore. Although I couldn’t tell their age, I assume that they are ancient.
Once at the cove, we would spend some time to rest from the walk and enjoy the breathtaking view. We would then proceed to inspect the area for sea life. The crevasses and groves of the rocks seldom disappointed us in our search for crabs, snails, sea stars, urchins and sea anemones of various colors. Once we were delighted during low tide to find a small octopus resting in a pool of water.
Reflecting on the nature of rocks, it is no wonder why one of God’s names is Yahweh Tsuri. Yahweh means Lord, acknowledging God’s divinity and His historical redeeming acts towards His chosen people; Tsuri means rock or stone. The different names of God highlight aspects of His character. With that in mind, Yahweh Tsuri is very fitting. Like a large rock, God is everlasting, faithful and protective.
King David had personally experienced God’s faithfulness and protective nature throughout his life. Before becoming king, David fought off a lion and a bear. With God’s help, David even found victory when he came face to face with the giant, Goliath. When the jealous King Saul sought to kill David, it was God who provided safety until the threat was gone. Considering his experiences, it is understandable why David in many of his Psalms commonly referred to God as Yahweh Tsuri. One portion of scripture penned by King David is relatable:
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.
Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress; I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to Him, God is our refuge.”
With the turbulent events that have plagued our world recently, many of us deeply desire for our problems to disappear so we can get the rest and relief we desperately need. I have caught myself on numerous occasions thinking about how much better my life will be once “everything goes back to normal.” I have fantasized about when my children will be back in school fulltime and I can meet most of my responsibilities during the daytime, so that I can be in bed at a reasonable hour. I look forward to going shopping without having to double check for a face mask and hand sanitizer. I long for the day when I can hug my senior friends and not worry about passing along a life–threatening virus. When that finally happens, it will be spectacular.
If we wait for our problems to be resolved before finding rest, we will be waiting forever. Instead, we should take refuge and find rest in Yahweh Tsuri now during the difficult times. When the waves of life approach with pounding force, like the sea life at the cove, we should bury ourselves deep within the Lord our Rock, allowing Him to endure the impact, to be our faithful fortress. We can do this by reading scripture and letting it encourage us daily. We can pour out our hearts to God in prayer so He can put our hearts back together again. We can find ways to intentionally remind ourselves continually that God is everlasting, faithful and protective.
For many of us, times are hard, but we need to remember that we are never alone. “The Lord will not reject His people; He will not abandon His special possession” (Ps. 94:14, NLT).
Prayer: Yahweh Tsuri, our bodies, and hearts are tired from the problems of this world. Help us to put our hope in your never–ending strength and enduring faithfulness. May our souls find rest in You, our God. Amen.