Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Moses asked God what His name was, so that when the Jews asked him about which God he was speaking, he would be able to tell them. This request implies that the Jews believed there was more than one God. They had been slaves in Egypt for four hundred years, and had given up hope that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would save them from bondage. In fact, any who had heard the stories of how they arrived where they were knew that it was He that had delivered them into bondage in the first place. God, knowing how useless it would be to tell them it was the God of the patriarchs, He told Moses His name was YHVH. Of course, in Hebrew it is HVHY (HE, VAV, HE, YODH - see Psalm 119:33, 41, 73). The KJV translates this as "I AM THAT I AM," and God also gave Moses the shorter version, "I AM" (Exod. 3:14).

Not that it happens that often, but on occasion I have been asked for my name, and that being followed by "Yes, but who is Paul Mutschler?" When asked, I usually respond by giving a biographical sketch varying in length depending upon the time allotted for a reply. There is no short answer. I have had a life of sixty-seven years which has defined who I am. I am a son, a sinner, a high school drop-out, a sailor, religious, a husband, a father, an atheist, a Christian, retired military, a college and seminary graduate, a grandfather, an ex-pastor, an ex-teacher, an ex-principal, a great grandfather, and a blogger (in chronological order). I am an American nicknamed "Skip" from before I was born. But mostly today, I am tired! I long for the day when I can say, "I am like Him" (1 Jn. 3:2). And the sooner, the better.

I have been asked to give my testimony at a friend's church tomorrow night, and although I have given it many times over the forty years I have been a Christian, I am not really sure what I should say. God has been working in my life in so many ways over the years, that I feel somewhat like John must have felt when writing about Jesus (Jn. 21:25). Frankly, my life has few mountain-tops and a whole lot of very wide valleys. And yet, it is in those valleys that I have been closest to the Lord. You might think that strange, but when on the mountain-top, I am loving Him; in the valleys, I am aware that He is loving me.

I have heard Him speak to me at least five times, and every one of them was when I was in despair. I have heard Him say words to this effect, "You wanted to love as I love, and see, you are unable to handle it. Let me work love into you. Be patient." On other occasions: "Turn to September second." (That one was repeated three times until I relented.) "Jesus wept." "As much as possible, get along with all men." And the last time I heard Him, He said, "You go, and let her come on the weekends." I know, you are thinking I am one of those weird guys who hears voices, but five times in forty years is not exactly a daily conversation with and imaginary friend. In fact, on none of the five occasions did I reply. I simply felt the awesome presence of Almighty God, and I instantly experienced total peace. Not only did I know He was there, I knew He knew me as only God can know someone. He knew my thoughts. He knew my emotions. He knew my need. I knew I was loved! May all those who read this know that God feels the same way about them.

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