Jehovah-nissi: The Lord My Banner


     "He has taken me to the banquet hall, and his banner over me is love."  Song of Songs 2:4

    Rob and I watched WWE  (it used to be WWF) the other day.  We are not wrestling fans, but this was a  peculiar kind of wrestling. It was between two green Anole lizards. They both had their horns out, and were rolling around on the pavement of our garage. Their jaws were locked and they were taking turns being upside down. A female lizard came from a short distance just to watch the combat. I imagined she was cheering them on like fans do at sporting events. "Get him!  That's right, hold him down. Yes!" (I like prescribing personalities to animals; it's quite entertaining.) So the male lizards were wrestling while the female cheered them on. In the midst of an intense moment, one of the lizards turned a dark brown. I immediately looked it up and discovered that Anoles turn brown when stressed or cold. I guess the one that turned brown was losing, because the other remained a bright green...he was not stressed in the slightest.  I also learned that male Anoles fight because they are territorial. We watched them for ten minutes, intrigued. How closely related humans and lizards are...two males duking it out over territory while the female watches. Funny.

    I have felt like one of those male lizards before. Perhaps someone stepped on my toes or gave an opinion that was different from my own. Maybe they were treading on my territory -- they took over a job that I was in charge of, or told me how to do my job. Maybe they challenged me simply by being unlike me. It's situations like these that cause me to want to wrestle. My seeming horns come out, and I become flushed with discomfort. I lock jaws with my opponent and begin to pretend wrestle. I can always find people who will cheer me on while I wrestle. I suppose there is something about conflict that is intriguing.  If there weren't, soap operas would have gone off the air a long time ago. "As sand through the hour glass, so are the days of our lives" (Days of Our Lives).  It even comes with a catchy phrase. It just begs for spectators.

    I believe the root of my desire to wrestle is insecurity. It is a personal affront to me when someone disagrees with me. I get my feelings hurt and revert back to being a child. I pick myself apart and conclude that it's because they don't like me that they disagreed with me. And how desperately I like to be liked!

    In one of my favorite movies, the protagonist tells the heroine that he likes her just as she is.  When the heroine relays this to her friends, they are all astounded at the notion of him liking her just as she is. "Just as you are? Not thinner? Not cleverer? Not with a slightly smaller nose?"  This simple declaration of being liked just as she is baffles them. 

    Jehovah-nissi announces in His Word, unashamedly, that He loves you...just as you are.   

    When it comes down to it, His opinion is the one that counts. Others will continue to upset you.  There will always be those who disagree with you. There is no need to wrestle -- He loves you. There is no need to stress -- He loves you. There is no need to lock jaws -- He loves you. He has fought the battle and won. He has wrestled with the opponent and stayed a bright green. And you can just watch, like the female lizard, while He wrestles for you. 

    Allow His love to cover you. Allow Him to be your Jehovah-nissi, to place His banner of victory upon you. Allow Him to quiet you with His love.  Turn off the soap operas and put down your horns. The battle has been won.

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