Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mightily Breasted: El Shaddai

Did the title make you curious?  I did that on purpose, but I have a really good point to make.

Today I was reminded of that fact that breastmilk can be used as a remedy in many situations.  My husband and one of our children both have "pink eye" right now.  We always go the natural route and were using a home remedy that works well when a friend reminded me that breastmilk has been used by many people in many cultures to aid the eye in healing from an infection like this.  What could be better than a natural and free home remedy?  So with a dropper I dropped drops of breastmilk in their eyes several times throughout the day and evening, and their eyes have definitely improved! 

I again was astonished at how amazing God made breastmilk.  What a strange way to provide life giving nutrients to an infant.  What a miraculous process that takes place in the women's body with only really a little attention on the women's part in most cases.  This milk is all sufficient in nourishing the baby and can be used topically, in the eyes, and in so many other ways to provide life giving and healing properties.  Incredible!  I was then reminded of my study on the names of God...

Another one of the names of God that I have been studying is El Shaddai.  I have heard this one perhaps most often because there is a song that repeats this name and then others.  "El Shaddai, El Shaddai, El Elyona, Adonai..."  I didn't really know what it meant though until this week, and it is pretty cool.

El, of course, means might or power, and Shaddai is possibly rooted from the Hebrew word Shad, which means "the breast."  At first I kind of laughed at this literal translation - mighty breast - but as I continued to study, the meaning took far more significance to me.  While Shad may be translated literally to mean the breast, what its meaning points to is the way a mother is the only one who can provide her baby with the lifeblood (milk) that comes from holding her baby closely and providing for him.  This provision is a pouring forth.  This milk is all sufficient.

You don't have to have ever nursed a baby to understand the significance of a mother's milk to that baby.  What's even more significant is when we know Him as Adonai (Lord), we can also know Him as our El Shaddai - All Sufficient One.  From Him comes everything that we need.  From Him comes life.  From Him comes sustenance.

In Genesis 17 we see God as El Shaddai when revealing Himself and then initiating a covenant with Abram, who later is called Abraham by the Lord.  How much more vibrant God's covenant to Abraham becomes when we see that He is called El Shaddai here.  He would be all sufficient for Abraham, and He kept that promise.

When Jesus poured Himself out on the cross, becoming the only sacrifice needed to pay the price for our sins, we see our El Shaddai again.  The pouring forth of His blood became all sufficient for us.  We remember this when partaking in Communion.  El Shaddai provided the only way needed for salvation and true life.

One of my lessons from all of this is that often all I need has already been provided for me.  I went to the store to get colloidal silver, when all I had to do was use some breastmilk.  When I am looking for guidance, peace, answers, comfort, acceptance, hope...I don't have to run out and get a book about how to find it or come up with a creative way to make it happen or expect these needs to be met by any other (though He does use others in my life to provide these at times).  I just have to run into the loving arms of my El Shaddai who loves me unconditionally and holds me closely to protect me, to provide for me, and to be my All Sufficient and Almighty God.  What a life-giving and miraculous gift.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." - 2 Corinthians 12:9a


dulce de leche said...

Loved this post! :)

Kristen @ Dem Golden Apples said...

Thank you! I have really enjoyed thinking about this even more since I wrote it.