As life moves and I stumble through it, my life verse from Jeremiah always stays close. Yet, I tend to drift towards other words from the Truth as I find myself in certain places in life. Whether it be joy or pain, I often find meaning in the only Truth that stays constant through each season of life. My thirties have seen everything from life to death to deep joy and great pain. My sense of understanding has grown and my heart has been stretched into shapes I didn't know were there. And as I stretch and move once again, I have found challenging words from God's truth to give me understanding and peace here in this life, at this moment.
The words from Joshua 1:9 continued to come across my path a little over a year ago and it has become the most recent verse to walk alongside my life verse with me. "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." These words speak a similar promise to me that my original life verse does, yet I hear it in a whole new way with new eyes to see, that weren't with me before.
Holding onto God's promise of hope and a future has sometimes kept me in the rosy world happy place. Even though this verse from Jeremiah is from when the people of Israel were being banished from their homeland for being so disobedient, God used Jeremiah to tell them that He still had a good future in store for them. I have held onto the 29:11 part of Jeremiah....and often forgotten that my ways have probably gotten myself into my own trouble a time or two, like the exiles in Babylons in Jeremiah's time. The words from Joshua have opened my eyes this last year to be okay in challenging places. It doesn't mean God is punishing me or not happy with what I've chosen. Rather He wants me to be strong and courageous wherever I am. Even though only He knows my plans, I can do my part through acting out in strong and courageous ways. He uses weakness to make us strong. I should know, He has done it in me as a regular pattern in my life. He is doing it in yours too.
For these two verses to walk side by side with me this last year is no mistake. I have found these words to guide me and be used in me. Life verse's are not meant to just leave us with a fuzzy, happy feeling about our Savior all the time. They are used to teach us. Our lessons from life woven together through His word.
I love that our family church did a whole teaching series on this. If you haven't today, I strongly encourage you to find that verse that always seems to speak to you. Read it, claim it as yours, and let it leave an imprint on your heart! It will truly be a life-giving lesson of a life-time! I'd love to hear yours too...so feel free to share.