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I remember the first time I saw the mountains of north Wales; it was like driving into a different land, it took me completely by surprise. I love the alps too; the way they dominate the horizon and the snowy tops are so, so beautiful glinting in the sunshine. One summer we drove through some of the high passes in Switzerland and dipped our toes into remote icy glacial lakes. It was exciting, zig-zagging up the very steep winding roads and the engine of our old blue Landrover struggling, gasping for oxygen as we got higher and higher, what an amazing view we had.

As I mentioned in my last blog, we have been studying Abraham in our Oasis group, it’s fascinating to see how God was at work in his life and the amazing plan He has for us all. In Genesis 17 God speaks to Abram and changes his and his wife’s names and makes a covenant with him. God introduces himself as “God Almighty”, this is the first time he uses this name in Genesis. The Hebrew El-Shaddai perhaps means “God, the mountain one” either highlighting the invincible power of God or referring to the mountains as God’s symbolic home. It was the special name by which God revealed Himself to the patriarchs. Shaddai occurs 31 times in the book of Job and 17 times in the rest of the bible.

If you are like me, you are struggling as to how to respond to the dreadful events occurring in Ukraine. The images are heartbreaking and the stories are too distressing to hear. In our confusion and distress, we have no choice but to turn to prayer, to pray to El-Shaddai, God the mountain one, God Almighty. Psalm 121 has helped me as I try to find how to pray for that devastated land and I hope that it helps you too.

1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

Catherin Tidmarsh, 23/03/2022