every month for the past 3 years i've posted a verse that God has used in my life, rather that God is using in my life at that specific time, and that i know i need to memorize and meditate on. i've done this on the first day of each month... until today. which is the 2nd of August. but there is a perfectly good explanation for this! and the fact that my explanation so perfectly fits in with the verse itself provides some much needed comic relief today.
you see, we are moving. not far, just a few miles away, but moving nonetheless. and i would think that most of you would be able to completely relate to the chaos and mayhem that has ensued in my house. this will be the 15th time since 1989 we have packed up everything we own and moved it to a different location. what can i say, we're gypsies. and after that many years ... 24 ... lets just say we've accumulated some things. now, in my favor is the fact that my kids are older, one married and moved out in fact, and we aren't dealing with massive amounts of toys and games and strollers. however, having relocated from california and our lunch-box-size house there to the big-sky-country of montana and a sprawling ranch house to match the size of the sky, well... we've got some stuff. i admit that i didn't do the best job purging prior to our initial move up here 7 years ago. however, as we are getting ready to transition into a new, less-than-half-the-size house in a few days, purging has become my life. and while it's an overwhelming process, i am making progress...
for those of you who have moved, you know that the entire endeavor is stressful and overwhelming. truly, any major seasonal life change or transition is. and i have found, as you probably have too, that there are days where i just want to quit. days when my emotions get the better of me. days when my heart just aches (and in my current case my hands and my back!) days when the enemy seems to have the upper hand and i feel beaten, pummeled, defeated. days when i start agreeing with him and allowing his distortion of the truth to become my reality. and it's days and moments like that, when i feel that i've come up for air for the last time, that i hear God say "i'm here".
i'm not for a second suggesting that God wasn't there during the battle, i'm implying that i allowed the sound of the enemy's voice to ring louder in my ears. the Word of God is true, you either believe it or you don't. but either way.... it's truth. and James 4:7 says 'resist the devil and he will flee from you'.
turn your back on the enemy, don't listen to a single word that comes out of his mouth. he is the father of lies, half truths, distortion and deception. his goal is to steal (your confidence, joy and purpose) kill (your heart and soul) and destroy (your testimony and effectiveness). period. he doesn't like you. he's not your friend.
ALL THIS TO SAY that i've felt OVERWHELMED these past few weeks... and while i have had days of clarity and confidence there have also been days of defeat and failure. yesterday... the first day of the month when i should have been posting my verse, my life line... i was instead packing and purging, engulfed in a cloud of confusion. and then... this verse came to mind:
But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
...[you are] precious in my eyes,
... and honored, and I love you"
HE created me. HE knows my name. HE will go with me through the waters and the fire... when i feel completely alone i remember that HE is right there with me, not watching from the sidelines, but fighting alongside me. HE will protect me. HE will not allow me to be overwhelmed to the point of defeat! HE is GOD and paid the highest price for my salvation! i'm HIS. i hope you're standing up or shouting or agreeing somehow right now because THIS. IS. GOOD. NEWS!!
my prayer is that this passage will not only encourage you TODAY as you face your current circumstance, but that it will serve to strengthen your heart for the next one. i'd like to suggest that you take some time to look this passage up in multiple translations, and perhaps write it out in your own words.
i love you! and as my dad always says to me, i'm praying God's highest and best for your life today!