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Monday, April 18, 2011

MEDITATION MONDAY: LIVING VERSE BY VERSE

I was all grown-up before I ever heard the term “life verse.” Folks memorized a verse from scripture that helped them focus their lives for Christ.

I wanted a life verse, too.

I soon discovered that all the really cool Christians had Philippians 4:13 as their life verse. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Yeah. I wanted that life verse, too.

But God kept getting me stuck on Philippians 4:6-7. “Do not be anxious over anything but by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God and the peace that passes understanding will fill your heart and mind with Christ Jesus.”

Hmmm…what was God trying to say? That maybe I need to worry less and trust Him more? Probably. Since I had perfected the art of taking my worries out, cradling them in my arms and whispering softly to them. Day after day; night after sleepless night.

Sigh.

Okay, so God knew best. Philippians 4:6-7 became my life verse. Over the years, I kept that verse in my heart, along with jotting it down on slips of paper tucked inside my Bible; post-its slapped on the front of the fridge, scraps taped to my computer, steam-rumpled notes sliding off my bathroom mirror. It was my life verse alright—I’d placed it everywhere, reminding me to give it up to God and let the peace flow.



A funny thing happened. As I gave my worries to God, peace DID flow. Eventually I no longer missed the holding, cradling and whispering. It didn’t happen all at once. But it happened. A little bit at a time. In the amount I was willing to give over to Him, I learned to trust Him more.

God gave me the exact life verse I needed in order to teach me something I needed to learn. The giving up and trusting still isn’t always the automatic, every-time FIRST thing I do. But at least it’s no longer the last.  

Guess what?

God recently gave me a new life verse. From the Book of Esther. Esther? He didn’t give me a Jesus quote? Or something one of the disciples said? Or—dare I hope—the “I can do all things” verse?

Nope. Esther. The one book in the Bible in which God isn’t even mentioned.

Esther 4:14 “Perhaps you have come to royal position for such a time as this.”

Royal position? Queen Carol?

No. Princess Carol. Because I’m the adopted daughter of King Jesus.

This verse reminds me that I belong to Christ. I’m bought and paid for with His blood and more than that, I belong to his family. I’m his child. His daughter. I’m a sister to other Christians. His kid. Daughter of Abba Father God.

Mighty royal position to be in. And I’d better remember that as I go through life.

This verse also reminds me that my focus should be outward. Queen Esther didn’t go to her husband the king to ask for half his kingdom or request a new tiara. She risked her life on behalf of her people. Her motive was outward—the safety and benefit of others.

As a Christian, my focus should be outward too. This verse reminds me to keep my attention on how I can love other people on behalf of the King. How can I encourage others? How can I be part of Jesus’ salvation plan? How can I use my royal position for Him and for others? Right now. Right here where I am.

I like my new life verse. I also like that Jesus took me from an inward focus on my worries to an outward focus on others. It is heart evidence of the growth in my faith.

Little by little, God is showing me that truly, I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Maybe one day that’ll be my ”official” life verse.  But until then, I’ll focus on learning the lessons from this one. And maybe the next.

PRAYER:  Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us scripture to meditate on and learn from. Thank you for making us teachable and for not giving up on us as we stumble along in our faith. Remind us that we are your adopted children and show us how to live up to the honor of our royal position. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Do you have a life verse? What is it? What does it mean to you? If you don't have one, what one part of your faith do you struggle with? Might that be the focus for a life verse?

4 comments:

Paula said...

Ok, so I had to look back a couple of your blogs and catch up! But, they are very good, full of interesting info.....humor, and I dare say: wisdom.....Thanks Carol...=]

From Carol's Quill said...

@ Paula - glad you enjoyed them. I hope you'll stop by from time to time. Hugs.

Pam B. said...

I've never heard of the term "life verse." But I think mine is, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jer. 29:11. This verse tells me that my relationship with God is personal. He knows me, loves me, values me---yes, me. I can trust Him because He has my best interest in His heart. It also encourages me that my situation today is part of His plan.

From Carol's Quill said...

@ Pam B. - Beautifully said. Like all of scripture, the more I thought about my life verse(s), the more I discovered they meant, depending on my circumstances.