A series at church was asking attendees to share a Bible verse that has stuck with them for some reason. I call it the “saving me” verse. This is your “why-is-my-life-falling-apart-around-me” verse you need to read to gain perspective when everything feels crappy. At church, I’ve heard numerous stories and a bucket load of verses, all leading up to being inspired to identify my “saving me” verse.
In the past, these verses have ebbed and flowed, mostly focusing around worry or unknown:
- Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to you hope and a future.”
- Matthew 6:34 “Don’t worry about tomorrow for tomorrow has enough worry of its own.”
- Jeremiah 32:27 “I am the Lord, the God of all peoples. Is anything too hard for me?” (I still love this verse. Can you just hear God’s sass? I mean, maybe He’s not trying to, but I just picture his hip cocked out saying, “Girl, please! I got this!”)
- Joshua 1:6 “Be strong and courageous.” (and continues in verses 9, 18, 25 and again in chapter 31, verses 6, 23)
The past couple months? I’ve felt God speaking to me through 2 Timothy 1:7. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power and love and self-control.”
Seriously, y’all. This verse has appeared in things I’ve been reading for the last two months. God is really trying to communicate to me. BAD. It started really standing out as I was feeling – for no good reason – near crippling fear about something happening to my boys. Like a deadly car accident. Or home invasion. Or…insert the scene of the crime from the latest crime investigation television show. (I avoid them like the plague because my imagination wanders.) I realize this probably sounds super humorous, but I was in tears at least once a week as a result of my imagination running wild. We all have our demons – and the devil is usually the culprit of every single one.
But another verse was just brought to my attention. Exodus 14:14 “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
This verse comes from the story of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt as Pharaoh let them go (after a series of seven awful punishments from God). But as they were getting ready to cross the Red Sea, Pharaoh had a change of heart (again) and sent his troops after the Israelites. The Israelites freaked out (read Exodus 12:11-12; they are next-level scared out of their minds), and I can’t say I wouldn’t have done the same. But that Moses…he knew who was in control. And he also knew they didn’t need to do a darn thing, because God had promised he would take care of the situation. Moses says: “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Then the sea parted, all the soldiers drowned, yada yada, right? (I mean, not really “yada, yada,” – God did part the water through Moses, after all.) But that verse stuck with me.
I suck at being still. First, I solve my own problems. I was brought up in a home where you tried really hard to not rely on anyone. That’s the American way! But it’s really not God’s way (see: What does the Bible say about self-reliance? from openbible.info; spoiler alert: stop relying on yourself).
Second, I really suck at resting and waiting on God. (Hello…Recovering Martha is the name of this blog.) God designed me to be a do-er. But He did not design me to be angry with O when he dumps a giant cup of water out of the bathtub and onto me and the floor. Or snarky with J about all the hunting gear spread out in the basement. Or impatient with a little boy who just wants “one more, book, Mommy.” Or disobedient by not being in His Word or praying – ever. (Do you ever feel like you could write a giant list of all the things you do wrong, and struggle to think of one right? WHAT IS THAT?!)
God gave us a whole dang day of rest – which we Americans used to call Sunday but now tend to call it the “get all the things done ’til you can’t stand anymore” day. But yesterday (Sunday), I paused for a brief hour to sit and bask in the September sun while I read this book I can’t put down (“7” by Jen Hatmaker – prepare to be involved, to be asked for an uncomfortable life change, and to literally laugh out loud). And…It was lovely. I felt – dare I say – relaxed. Almost rested. Granted, the day didn’t end that way (J will tell the truth – he was definitely vacuuming at 8:15pm, per my request. Thank God for this man and how he doesn’t give up on me). But at least for one hour, I gave up the fight and let God take care of me.
Oh, Lord. Help me to be still. Help me to not get caught up in the day-to-day mess; but rather, focus on my purpose: to be in relationship with You and bring others to You via my relationships. Put people in my life to remind me of this perspective, and please send your Holy Spirit to me with a not-so-gentle “nudging” to crack open my Bible and find another verse to save me. I need all the help I can get.