God Is There

We know that God has many attributes, and with them comes a name. Jehovah Rapha refers to The Lord our Healer; Jehovah Jireh means the Lord our Provider; Jehovah Shalom is the Lord our Peace; and Jehovah Raah (one of my favorites) is the Lord our Shepherd. But here’s one I was unfamiliar with until a few years ago: Jehovah Shammah. It means The Lord is Here, reinforcing His omnipresence, which means being present in all time and space.

With the recent solar eclipse, I am reminded that God was there. He orchestrated the entire process. I mean, He is the Creator of the sun and the moon. The perfection of size and distance of each heavenly body did not escape God’s magnificent design. He was there when darkness overcame light in the middle of the afternoon for that brief moment on April 9, 2024. He was also there when darkness engulfed the day His Son died on the cross 2,000 years ago.

Ezekiel 48:35 says, “The circumference of the city shall be 18,000 cubits. And the name of the city from that time on shall be, The Lord is There.” This is a reference to Jerusalem. He will not abandon it to be left in ruins but will restore it to its glory. How fitting to consider Jehovah Shammah, as I am all about “restoration” this year. 

Reflections of Past Decades

As I reflect upon my life, I think about how God was there when He knit me in my mother’s womb and crafted my DNA to resemble a combination of my parents. My hair would be the color of my mother’s; my love of music would come from my father. My taste for pickled beets would be from my mother, and my desire to put ketchup on black-eyed peas would come from my father. Such details.

The church I attended growing up

God was there when I was born on November 3, 1959, in the heat of a Tuesday afternoon. He knew I would take to church at an early age like a frog takes to water. I loved playing with the cardboard blocks and working on wooden puzzles in the church nursery. But finally getting to go to “big church” was exciting. I entertained myself by watching my mother write tiny notes in her Bible while the preacher talked. It was not a surprise to God when at age 7, I walked down the long church aisle on a Sunday night. Why? Because He was there.

God was there when my tender heart ached upon learning that our family was moving across town. That meant I would be in a different school system. Fifth graders with exemplary grades were selected to be safety patrols at the school I had been attending. This was a coveted honor that I would not have at Pinecrest Elementary.

When I went with the church youth group on my first evangelistic mission trip to the beach in Florida, God was there. Oh, I was nervous approaching unsuspecting sunbathers, young and old, to ask if they knew about Jesus. One young man asked lots of challenging questions, but God was there to give me answers.

My teenage years were not my finest. I made some unwise choices, but God was there through those shameful times and loved me anyway. He waited patiently for me to come to my senses.

God and I consulted about where I should go to college. He brought clarity and focus during those cloudy and challenging years as I prepared for a career and marriage.

Where I spent the majority of my career

He was there when my husband and I transferred outside of Alabama after only three months of marriage. I was unsure about being so far away from home and family, but God sent a mangy puppy along the highway to be picked up. Roscoe provided comfort and healing to my homesick heart.

How exciting for God to fulfill my dream to work in a nationally recognized academic medical institution. He placed me in the right location to meet the right person to make it happen. He was with me throughout the 32 years I worked at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, helping me transition from clinical to research and then administration.

God was near when I went through breast cancer. So near to me, I wrote a book about it: Praise God, He was with me when I survived a heart attack years later as a probable result of my cancer treatments.

Are you familiar with the duet “There Was Jesus” by Zach Williams and Dolly Parton? The song emphasizes the idea of Jehovah Shammah. I will conclude with this beautiful number and suggest you take a moment to listen and reflect upon your own life.

Karen Allen


  1. Sharon Atwood on April 12, 2024 at 9:12 am

    Always thrilled to see a snapshot into the author’s life! It reminded me that God is always near.

    • Karen Allen on April 13, 2024 at 5:46 pm

      It is humbling to know God sees all that we have done, good and bad. Yet He loves us still. Thank you, Sharon.

  2. Melissa Henderson on April 12, 2024 at 10:30 am

    THank you for this inspirational message. I am a 19 years breast cancer survivor. God bless you. Yes, God is always with us and that brings me comfort. Have a blessed day!

    • Karen Allen on April 13, 2024 at 5:45 pm

      It is always good to come across long-time fellow breast cancer survivors Melissa. I remember hearing survivors say they were 20 years out and I wondered to myself if I could ever make it that far. I did! We did! God is good. Thank you for your response.

  3. Susan Kohari on April 12, 2024 at 10:07 pm

    Simply beautiful. Thank you Karen.

    • Karen Allen on April 13, 2024 at 5:42 pm

      You should start a blog, my friend!

  4. Kathryn Norton on April 12, 2024 at 11:40 pm

    Love this! Your humility & sincerity are always leading the way. Good one by Zach. Thankful for you xo

    • Karen Allen on April 13, 2024 at 5:42 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed my post. I love the song, too! Of course, anything Dolly Parton sings is going to catch my attention.

  5. Diana Derringer on April 13, 2024 at 10:32 am

    I’m so thankful God is always there.

    • Karen Allen on April 13, 2024 at 5:41 pm

      Me too! Through thick and thin, good and bad, happy and sad.

  6. J.D. Wininger on April 17, 2024 at 5:52 am

    I look back across my life and I can see God in all of it. What a wonderful post ma’am.

    • Karen Allen on April 17, 2024 at 11:41 pm

      God prepares us for what is to come even when we are unaware. Thank you for reading and commenting, J.D.

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Ewe R Blessed Ministries / Karen O. Allen

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