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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

He Is Yahweh: The Eternal God Will Carry You Through

The journey of fatherhood remains filled with immense reward. One of my wife and I’s favorite pastimes has always been going for outdoor walks together. We love hitting the trails at local parks to soak in the fresh air, get in a cardio workout, and behold the beauty of God’s creation. When our son and first child, Joseph, was born, we decided to take him along for our weekly outdoor adventures. Accomplishing this meant strapping him to my chest in a snugli. He enjoyed the ride and smiled ear to ear to have the front seat view. And I didn’t mind the added weight, which equaled a better leg workout and more calories burned.

I carried our little guy up and down the rolling hills, around winding trails, and through rugged terrain for miles at a time. Of course, I had to exercise care. Some paths were too treacherous to tread with a toddler in tow.

Similarly, God looked after the Hebrew people as he led them through the barren land of the Sinai wilderness:

The Lord your God, who goes before you, is the one who will fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your very eyes, and in the wilderness, where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, just as one carries a child, all the way that you traveled until you reached this place (Deuteronomy 1:30-31, NRSV).

For forty years, “the Lord” (Hebrew, Yahweh) ushered the Israelites through unfamiliar desert lands, revealing himself strong on their behalf amid hunger, dehydration, and the many quarrels threatening to divide them. He steered his people’s course and, in due time, brought them into Canaan, the Promised Land.

Since Joseph, we added two more kids to the mix—our twin girls, Katarina and Theresa. While it’s not practical to strap two kids to my chest in snuglis, we found a double stroller and started taking the girls on many of the same excursions as when it was just three of us. As our kids grow up, I aim to be there for them, to guide and see them through no matter what obstacles lie in their path. I will walk beside them through whatever valleys they have to cross or mountains to climb for as many years as I have on God’s green earth.

Yet, as surely as the terrain changes, my days on earth are destined to come to an end. Thus it behooves my wife and me to build into our kids a solid foundation in the faith, teaching them the ways of God’s word and the power of prayer. This way, even after our time on earth comes to an end, they (and we) can rest assured that Yahweh (literally, “I am the I am”) will carry them through. The meaning of this Hebrew name implies the self-existence and eternality of God. The life and purposes of Yahweh are not conditioned on any other being in the universe; indeed, he created everyone and everything. He is the eternal God, existing from the beginning of time (even before time since he’s the author of time itself). Because God has always been and always will be, I find consolation in the reality that although my days here on earth are numbered, he will still be standing by to look after my children long after I am gone.

Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you (Isaiah 46:4, NIV).

Our heavenly Father walks beside us to steer our course and direct our path through whatever wilderness we face, now and forevermore. Indeed, even after we grow old and weary, Yahweh is still keeping watch over our posterity to guide, sustain, and rescue our dear ones in their hour of need. We can have confidence that the Eternal One will one day bring to fruition his plan, ushering every child of God into the Promised Land.

Copyright © 2021 Paul J. Palma. Used by permission.

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