I think I was in third grade when my teacher emphasized the importance of the letter “S” to me. I was trying to perfect my skill in cursive writing, and she reminded me that both my first and last names begin with the letter “S.” “Stan,” she said, “if your “S” cannot be read, no one will know who you are.”
In the title above, “s” is one of two letters that are of important. The other one is the letter “i,” and I don’t mean “I.” The capital “I” is a pronoun and usually the subject of a sentence.
The two letters I’m speaking of are of little significance when they stand alone. By themselves they are a little “i” and a measly “s.” Put them together, and they add up to something: i + s = is, and I like “is.”
“Is” is present tense: The Lord is . . . not has been, not maybe so, or hope so,or I wish so, but very boldly the Psalmist said: is!
John uses the same two letters when he writes in I John 4:16: “God is . . .” This was comforting to the collective group of believers who had faced the gruesome persecution of Nero and were about to suffer at the hands of Domitian.
When Paul wrote to the church at Rome, he emphasized the Is-ness of God while while facing the troubles and trials of life: Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture…None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.
So, the next time you feel like you are going it alone, remember the Shepherd-Savior is present.