There have been many times over the years that different passages of scripture have been monumental to my understanding of who God is and how much He loves me. In a sense, they have literally shaped my faith. I can think back affectionately on different Psalms that carried me through various trials. There are passages in Colossians that became so important to my understanding of what it means to clothe myself in the gospel and set my mind on things above not on earthly things, that when I'm trying to retrain my thoughts, I immediately go there. The summer before I went to Cal Poly, I memorized 1 Peter with a friend and those verses became pivotal to my understanding of the gospel itself and what God calls us to in suffering.
I call these passages hotspots. They are my go-to's when I want to remember what God has taught me over the years as I've walked with Him. Reading through them reminds me of where I've been at different points in my life and how faithful God has always been to teach me through my mistakes and carry me.
I've needed these passages. Even just looking at them reminds me, I've been weary before, but God has always cared for me. And in doing so, my mind is flooded with memories; at times they're of the struggles, but they are also of the triumphs and the absolute sovereignty and grace that God has given me in my life.
Some of my favorite passages run in the Isaiah 40's. The poetry is beautiful. There is prophecy about God redeeming Israel and Him reminding them that He's laid His anger aside and simply chosen to love them.
Incredible. Humbling and soul-reviving.
"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10
And then there is one of the first Psalms that ever spoke to my soul about God's help-Psalm 121. Sure it's well known. But to me, despite its fame, it never grows old because it has been soaked so many times into the depths of my heart, that the words have become a part of who I am. And no matter how many times I hear it, I am grounded each time in knowing, "My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth." Psalm 121:2. Those words have been with me since I was a child. And they will be on my heart until the day I die.
I've been weary lately. I've got ten weeks left in this pregnancy and I
can hardly seem to force myself to keep up with the everyday. Part of
me needs to extend myself more grace. The other part needs to kick the
laziness. And lately so many life circumstances have caused me to look around and think, "I'm weary. I'm trying to just persevere but I need that help. I need that hope that God will set things to right; that He will protect me and fight for me." And over and over again, I'm reminded. "The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore." Psalm 121: 5-8
And once again, with that reminder, I can dust off my feet, open up my hands and choose to say, "I will lift my eyes...my help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth." Psalm 121: 1-2
This song carried me after Joshua was born and is once again speaking so much truth into my heart. For it is God's kindness that saves me and leads me continually to repentance (Romans 2:1-4). And in my weariness, the God who never slumbers (Psalm 121:3-4) will watch over me. It was a bit hard to find a suitable version of this song on YouTube without it seeming really cheesy. But just listen to the music...listen to the words. The message is timeless.
"Your kindness is what pulls me up and your love is all that draws me in." I Will Lift My Eyes, Bebo Norman
CJ Mahaney’s Christmas Book List 2017
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