The Question A friend asked me recently what verses came to mind when I was stressed out, or which I could think of off of the top of my head. I was a deer in headlights. I froze. I couldn’t think of anything. She then asked me if I had a verse or two that could be considered a “life verse.” Ummmm. Not really. No. I could do the cliche and quote the one about “For I know the plans I have for you…”, but that doesn’t really strike my soul. And then… I was reading a few mornings ago and found it! It kind of jumped off the page at me. “You ADONAI are a shield around me; My glory and the One who lifts my head.” (Psalm 3:3) There is so much wrapped up in that one, relatively small, verse! My shield: He is my protection, my guardian, my redeemer, my rescuer, my hedge. I hide behind Him and in Him when trouble comes. My glory: It’s His reputation instead of mine, His power that makes all things possible, His honor for which I was created and gifted , His fame that He uses me for. I worship Him in His glory. The lifter of my head: There is such incredible compassion in that one simple movement! When I am ashamed, afraid, sad, humiliated, I hang my head and I’m afraid to meet the eyes of my Abba. When I have broken a law (like Esther), I approach with my eyes low, awaiting my fate. When I am in awe of His immensity and power, I bow my head in reverence. And He gently touches my chin and raises me up until my eyes fall into His. In this one phrase there is compassion, kindness, mercy, hope, adoption, and so much love. Here is one who buys me back from the darkness, who says I am worthy to bear His name, who forgives me when I am wrong, who mixes judgement with mercy, who knows my weaknesses and gives me strength to stand, whose love washes everything else away. And in that, so much is said. He is my all.
Job 1:20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. This verse struck me. God had just given ha-satan power over all that Job possessed, and ha-satan had (gleefully, I imagine) gone out and destroyed everything (he came to steal, kill, and destroy…). After Job received the news that his fields were ruined, his sheep were burned up, his camels were stolen, and his children were dead, he didn’t yell at God or ask why. He displays customary mourning (tearing his robe and shaving his head) and then he does something strange. He worships. I would have fallen to the ground and cried. He fell to the ground and worshiped. Wow. He says, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.” Would I truly be able to say this if YHWH took away everything I had in one disastrous day? The only thing Job was left with was a few servants, his home, and his wife. Yet he worshiped. I pray that I will worship through the moments that are most difficult.