Friday, July 29, 2011

Friendly Friday: Kimberly Simpkins

Today's Friendly Friday guest has a special place in my heart—she was my She Speaks roommate! She was slated to guest post for me before the conference, though.

Good thing she liked me, or this page would probably be blank today.

Kimberly Simpkins blogs over at Mining for Diamonds. Her story and testimony are compelling, and I'm so glad she's working toward putting a book together. She's a beautiful lady, inside and out, and really a joy to be around. Read her here and check out her blog!


Jehovah Shalom

I’m so excited to guest post for Rachel today! I am honored to have been her roommate for She Speaks. She is as fun and sassy in person as she is on her blog! Don’t let her sarcastic wit fool you; this girl is serious about her God and truly has a heart for Him. When her book becomes a bestseller, I’ll be able to say, “Hey! I was her roommate!” (And no, she doesn’t snore.)

At She Speaks, there is a room that is the talk of the conference. It’s called “The Prayer Room.” It’s a room dedicated to quiet meditation and reflection, and, well, prayer. The main “feature” of the room, if you will, is the table near the rear of the room with hundreds of small strips of paper stuck to several large pieces of paper. On the small strips are the names of every single attendee of the conference, as well as the speakers, staff, and volunteers. On the large pieces of paper are the Names of God. Behind the scenes, people prayed for every single name, and as they felt led, they attached that person’s name to a Name of God. The idea is that whatever Name of God your name is on, it represents a characteristic of God that He wants to reveal to you personally.

I made my way around the table, and on the last sheet of paper I browsed, I found my name on the Name of God that whoever prayed for me felt He wanted to reveal to me. That name was:

Jehovah Shalom.

Whenever we think of the word “shalom.” we think of “peace.” But it is a little more than just “absence of conflict.” That word “shalom” has a deeper meaning. I’ve heard it means “nothing missing, nothing broken.” Wikipedia says that it can mean “complete,” or “whole,” and speaks to “well-being,” “wholeness,” and “safety.”

This has great personal meaning for me, so I believe that whoever was behind the scenes praying for me at She Speaks, truly heard from God. I feel that something was imparted to me in this very personal message, which is a sense of great well-being from the Lord Himself. I really need that in this season of my life.

But it got me to thinking…

How many people really, truly experience “shalom?” As believers, we always hear about “peace”—there’s “the peace of God that passes all understanding,” “peace be with you,” or the “peace of God” ruling our hearts.

But what does that really mean?

I have often mistaken “peace” to mean absence of conflict, or being calm and quiet inside.

But it is more than that. God wants to impart Himself to us through His Peace. He is the Prince of Peace, He is Shalom. He is the God of “nothing missing, nothing broken.” When the storms of life may be raging all around us, God wants us to experience Shalom on the inside, that sense of complete well-being, wholeness and safety, knowing beyond the shadow of a doubt that He is in control. Shalom is not an emotion; it is a state of being.

I have to admit, peace is not my default “state of being” when storms are raging in my life. It takes practice to really experience Jehovah Shalom.

How do we get that practice?

The answer is in Isaiah 26:3. My KJV says it this way:

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

The NLT says:

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”

Regardless what version you use, the bottom line is this: we will have “shalom” when our focus is on Him, and when we trust Him.Once we take our eyes off of Him, guess what? No peace!

But it’s not enough to just look at Him. We also need to trust Him. This is another area of my life that needs more practice! It is easy for our faith to waver in the midst of challenging circumstances, but if we keep our eyes fixed on Him, and place our total trust in Him, we can experience the fullness of “Shalom.”

I pray that today, whatever is going on in your life, may you also experience Jehovah Shalom inside!

© Kimberly Simpkins, 2011


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