There are plenty of people who go about their life with no religion and they seem to be doing just fine.
Sometimes in the midst of the church arguing and spiritual manipulation, the protests on TV and the white supremacists screaming God’s name, I’d rather slip under the covers and call it a day (or a year rather).
You see, I’ve spent seasons with two feet in this faith thing and other seasons with two feet out.
I’ve spent seasons in love with church and others wanting nothing to do with the place.
I’ve spent seasons with the bible attached to my hip and others where it takes two disinfecting wipes to clean off the layers of dust from inattention.
I’ve spent seasons on the edge of spontaneous faith combustion and others doused with the “I’M MELTING” bucket of doubt and panic.
I’ve spent seasons blinded by the light of just how good God is and others trying to disappear in dark, miserable places.
Yet, no matter how far I wander, somehow I am always reminded of one simple truth: How good it feels to come home.
How breath-taking it is when I realize there is a God who loves me like crazy and that no matter what we’ve done or how many times I reject Him, He’s always waiting for me with open arms and box of Kleenex. There is just no greater feeling than living life knowing God and following his son Jesus.
One of the greatest weapons I have found to battle the hardest times is memorizing a few words from God that speak to the dirtiest places of my soul. A few softly spoken syllables that can remind me who I am and who I was created to be.
And that’s really all a Life Verse is.
A life verse is fancy, Christianese term for finding a verse in the bible that gives you strength or peace (or whatever thing you’re totally lacking). They touch a part of you that desperately needs to be healed.
Some verses stay longer than your awkward cousin Fred with the bad breath…
…and others rescue you for a week and move on like a good little house guest.
For the better part of 10 years, one of mine has been Psalm 46. I first sang these words in choir at Luther College and the melody and cadence continue to bless me.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Here is the recording. Sorry not sorry that Luther is pretty much the best place ever. (If you don’t get chills at 3:55 check your pulse to make sure you’re still alive).
Of course you don’t have to have a life verse, but as someone who has struggled through A LOT of seasons, let me tell you that it has helped me more than almost anything else.
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If you’re thinking about trying it out, start by asking God what words you need to hear. Open a blank notebook, quiet your mind and just listen. [If you’re new to reading the bible or in a slump, check out my post 10 Ways to Fall In Love With Your Bible]
Think through if there are any verses that already come to mind. Consider verses others have shared with you at important times. Or if you’re new to this whole bible thing, look through this list below and see what resonates with you.
Well, what are ya waitin’ for?
John 3:16: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
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 give you hope and a future.
Roman 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Phil 4:13: I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Prov 3:5: Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
Prov 3:6: in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Rom 12:2: Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Phil 4:6: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Matt 28:19: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.