You may have noticed that I use this word regularly in my blogs. The word has great significance to me. In January of 2013 I was given a book by a lady who runs a tamale shop in Grapevine, TX. I stopped by her shop to pick up some tamales for dinner. Little did I know that this would be a Divine Encounter for me.
She was literally glowing. Looking back on it, I understand that glow now and where it was coming from, but that day it did not dawn on me what was happening. She was particularly bubbly and that caught my attention, because I was having a bad day and feeling sorry for myself and wallowing in my circumstances. You probably never do that, but I have been known to do that from time to time.
I asked her why she was so happy, and she started telling me how blessed she and her husband had been. They were selling tamales like crazy, and in fact were getting to open up a second location on Main Street in Grapevine. That is prime real estate, and you don’t get locations to open up there often, and when they do, they are very expensive. However, God had given them a place on Main Street and at a discount!
I asked her why God was blessing her and her husband like that, and she just smiled and handed me a book. It was entitled Thriving In Exile, by Steve Elliott. This small book would flip me upside down spiritually with one word, “Shalom.”
It talks about this word in the book. Most people think that Shalom means peace, and it does, but the book also talks about the fact that it means completeness. I started meditating on that word. Complete peace. That is what was missing from my life.
Robert Wall, a dear friend of mine since my college days, is now a pastor at Life Church in Ft. Worth. Robert called me in January and we were catching up. He asked me how my previous year had turned out. I told him about the stress I had experienced through financial problems and relational problems in the family. While my marriage was solid, it seemed that there was stress all around us in the family, and we were caught in the middle.
Robert said, “If you had one word for 2013, what would it be?” That is a deep question, and normally I would really have to think about it, but I had just read that book, so I told Robert, “That is easy. My word is Shalom!” I asked Robert if he knew what the word meant. He like a lot of people said, “Doesn’t it mean peace?” I told him it did, but it also meant completeness.
He stopped me in mid-sentence and said, “Dan, I have a word from God for you.” He laughed as he continued, “I wish it was a word for me. The word is prosperity.” I laughed and said, “Well, I receive THAT!”
Robert encouraged me to do a word study in the Greek and Hebrew on the word prosperity and see what God was really trying to say to me. So, while I was still talking to Robert, I Googled the word Prosperity in Greek and Hebrew. Guess what one of the translations of the word is? Shalom!
I stopped Robert as he was talking and said, “Robert, you don’t know what you just said. One of the translations of the word prosperity is Shalom! Shalom means complete health, complete wealth, compete peace, freedom from stress. That is what every person on the planet longs for. ” We both got goosebumps from that.
Then a few nights later, God revealed something else to me. It is not just what is Shalom, but WHO is Shalom. God is Shalom. He is the Alpha and Omega, He is the beginning and the end. He is complete! He sent Jesus to be Shalom (the Prince of Peace), and when Jesus went back to be with the Father, He sent the Holy Spirit so that we might know Shalom.
So you see, Shalom is a big word for me. I pray that God give you Shalom and you fully receive all that is complete in Him. There is a big difference in knowing about God, and knowing God. Know God, know peace. No God, no peace.