“Most blessed among women is Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite. May she be blessed above all women who live in tents. (Judges 5:24 NLT)
Mountain goat, she that ascends - that's what her name means. Like every woman in her community she wakes up every day with her mind full of tasks to be done.
Tent to be cleaned, meals to be cooked, kids to be nourished and visitors to be entertained. Her home is her dwelling place, her family is her business. Today a stressed visitor enters her tent. He is running in haste from someone. His face covered with sweat and dust fear and terror verbalises the urgency of the situation. What shall she do? She is alone and has heard about the man, he is the enemy.
The responsibility to welcome, honour and protect a guest is a vital part of her tradition, more than just a tradition - an absolute command. So, when the guest asks for water, she offers him curdled milk, a delicatessen beverage for the Eastern people. She makes him a bed, a place to rest.
So far she has kept and respected the tradition. The customs of the old were applied. Yet, her heart is telling her something else. The enemy has entered her domain- he is not only threatening her household but her community also. She is not a fighter, she is just a woman that happens to have some tent pegs lying around. What can she do? She acts. She breaks the rules and kills the guest! She does not know if she will be severely condemned for her action, but she can't leave the enemy sleep inside her tend.
Paul says that : The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (2 Corinthians 10:4-5 KJV)
Today, we don't need to use pegs or guns to fight the enemy for we don't wage against flesh and blood, but we do need to fight back the darkness that is threatening our lives.
There comes a time when rules must be broken, tradition ignored and customs not kept. We love tradition and customs, but not more than doing what is right. When the enemy of our soul comes and breaks into our families and communities we must take a stand. Like Jael, we must use what we have in our hand to fight evil, to keep him at bay from our homes, our children, our marriages, our friends our communities.
The judge of that time, a woman called Deborah, honoured Jael and names her 'blessed above all women!' There is beauty in cheering up each other girls while combating darkness with bravery! The enemy of this world is freely rampaging into the places where we live. Time has come for us to use what we have on our hands and with wisdom from above to shine the light bright into those dark places.
“Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.”
― Anne Frank
Loneliness was first found in the garden of Eden. There has never been a garden like Eden! There, beauty was born and was abundant! With trees that blossomed at any season. With waters swarming with colourful fish and the air glowing with magnificent birds there was not other oasis alike on earth. You could have every kind of animal to be your pet there and every day was for sure an adventure.
Right there, with all the breathtaking views of the mountains peaks and the labyrinth valleys far beyond anything any artist could capture and pour on paper loneliness was present. There was perfection, there was loneliness too.
Perfection can be great at hiding our hearts real aches. You can be surrounded by a sea of beautiful wonders and still, feel alone.
“The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. .........
Genesis 2:18 NET
God, yes Him who sees everything that He created, sees man in the middle of it all and identifies his loneliness. Adam had not complained so far, it's God's empathy that intervenes and solves the first ever problem of the human's heart. Yes, there is lions to pet and lambs to cuddle in Eden, but still none that Adam can talk to and identity himself with.
God thinks ahead of Adam and bless him with a companion, a helper, an êzer.
This word êzer has been one of them words that many theologians and language experts have struggled to find the perfect match to describe its full meaning.
Many times in the Bible the word 'êzer' is used to describe military aid: help and support from a position of supply and strength. Other times it refers to help from a stronger one, from a more secure or strengthened position, without need of reciprocal help.
From the beginning of times loneliness was something that prevented fullness of life, so God plans an answer right there for it: Êzer
A relationship between equals is the answer and cure to loneliness. That kind of relationship where the other person serves as a rib to protect our hearts with strength and vigilance. That kind of relationship that speaks truth without fear, gives mercy freely and loves during hard times.
To fight loneliness we have to surround ourselves with 'êzer' people and allow God to help us through the process of identifying and overcoming loneliness.
Solitude is different from loneliness. Wise Solitude its necessary because it renews the soul and refreshed the mind, but loneliness on the other side is dangerous, it kills the soul slowly and paralyses the mind.
It's brave to understand that: the garden, nature and all beautiful things created are to serve our solitude. People, and specially those who handle our hearts with truth and love are a gift from God to guard us against loneliness.
Are you an êzer to someone? Are you looking for an êzer to fellowship with?
The alarm clock woke me up this morning reminding me that I am not enough. I am not enough until I have an 'early rise, ' routine, which I have not....yet.
Splashes of milk smearing the morning table stare at me 'you are not enough.' You have failed at teaching your kids to eat with their mouth shut and have good table etiquettes.'
The empty coffee machine standing cold and indifferent let me know in a passive aggressive way that 'I am not enough' as wife too. I only thought to make myself a cup of tea and neglected to prepare one for my husband.
The mirror on my landing laughs at me ' you are not thin enough.' For this very reason we don't see each other often and I try to avoid it altogether.
My bank balance echoes clearly 'you are not enough.' Somehow it points out not only my finance shortcomings, but my failing to use wisdom on managing my household too.
My phone shouts 'you are not enough.' You have not enough likes, friends, comments, texts ......... no one cares about you.
From every corner of the day I hear ' I am not enough!'
It is difficult these days to hear a voice that affirms and encourages our fulfilment in life.
Feeling you are not enough is that sense of incompleteness, an emptiness like you are missing something, not hitting the mark, lacking the ability to offer the best you know you can. And the sad part of all that is that all our tries to help us to feel 'enough' have only extended the list of our short-failing.
.. and in Christ you have been brought to fullness...... Col 2:10
Yes, this is the only voice out there affirming our 'enoughness.' The only problem is that it's so hard to hear this soft quite voice in the thickest of all those laud noises telling us the opposite.
I know that for myself all those times that I hear 'I am not enough' louder and pressing I have stopped tuning my ear to that soft sound voice that says 'you are enough!'
“Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding.”
Proverbs 2:2 NLT
It's a Brave thing my dear friend to tune our ears to the right voice. It's hard work and requires our full commitment but there is not other way to silencing all those voices that demand us to keep trying and be enough. Without intention we can't incline our ears and mind to The Voice that whispers 'You Are Enough!'
How can we hear that Voice? We will definetely hear that voice as we spend time in the Word, immense our hearts in worship and when we invest time with them who are familiar with the rhythms of its tunes.
I can promise you my friend that we will be able to recognise and hear that voice more and more and start trusting its truth that way. Little by little we will recognise it among hundreds of other voices and become familiar with its rhythm. That way we can start and live our lives from a place that is full and not empty, whole and not lucking.