Sometimes when I need a break from work, I choose a verse or phrase currently challenging me and create a new iPhone background.
I figure, if I must look at my phone, it might as well direct my thoughts toward God.
Below are a few that I have sent to friends and family, in an effort to encourage them also… maybe they can refresh you!
Psalm 62:7-8 from The Message
Live the Gospel. Display Christ.
“Live a life for the Father’s smile.” -Melissa Helser
Even if Jesus is all you have, He is enough
“For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul He fills with good things.” Psalm 107:9
This year I have gone through a lot of change… I mean a lot. If I were to list the major life changes, emotional changes, and season changes I have gone through this year, you wouldn’t believe me. I might not even believe me!
However, throughout this year, I have learned one very, very important piece of my spiritual journey with Jesus – ongoing prayer.
See, prayer is what keeps us in contact with God. Prayer is the tool we use to combat the lies of Satan, it’s the gateway to a growing relationship with our Savior, and it’s the mechanism we use to keep our hearts and emotions in tune and in check with the truth of God (2 Chronicles 7:14, Ephesians 6:18,James 5:13, Matthew 26:41, etc.).
Until summer of this year, I never understood how critical prayer is to my life. This all changed when I was at a baby shower (seriously… could y’all have any more babies right now), and I ran into a girl whose car Dylan and I bought off the side of the road in September of last year. I knew of her through our 30 minute encounter where we handed her cash and drove off with her car (ha!). So, I run into this girl and we strike up immediate spiritual conversation.
Throughout our two hour talk I felt the Lord pressing on me to reach out to her after the baby shower and learn more about her life, which lead to me learning about her mission. I later learned that Lauren (author of two of the most powerful prayer devotional books ever written – link at the bottom) was on a mission of teaching women to pray through prayer journaling. I couldn’t contain myself when I learned this!
I had heart bits and pieces of Katherine’s story, enough to intrigue me. I purchased this book as an audiobook, and it was playing every single time I was in the car until I finished. Katherine and Jay are honest about their suffering, yet loud about the hope always to be had in Jesus. They truly invite the reader into this season of their life, and it left a mark on me. By far, one of my favorites is this:
“What has happened to me is extreme; however, it is not that different from what everyone deals with. I am a sort of microcosm for what we all feel. I can barely walk, even with a cane, but who feels free even if they can? My face is paralyzed, but who feels beautiful even when they look normal? I have no coordination in my right hand, so I can’t hold things, even my child, but who feels like a competent parent even if all their faculties are intact? For months I could not eat, and even today I have difficulty swallowing, but who feels fully satisfied even if they can enjoy every delectable treat they desire? I am tired almost all the time now, but who always feels energized to engage fully in their life? My voice is messed up, but who feels understood even if they can speak plainly? I have double vision, but who sees everything clearly even if they can see normally? My future is uncertain, but whose isn’t? …. I believe that pain is pain, no matter the form, but perspective is also perspective. Ultimately, ours is a story of a life overcome by hope. We are discovering joy even in the sadness and choosing contentment when it is very, very hard… We have learned that when everything else is gone, hope remains.”
We are all in this unpredictable, broken world where suffering is the norm, not the exception. Together we must stand, choosing to truth and hope in God even when it feels impossible. Their testimony will give you a new view on life’s challenges, great and small, as well as a deep love for our God of eternal hope.