Verse 8, and my heart laid bare

At this time last year my Dad was battling lung cancer for the second time. He had just been given his diagnosis and a pretty grim prognosis. He was the pastor of a small church, having attended seminary in his 50s after a long career in the Air Force and another brief but very successful career as a mortgage broker. He loved to preach and teach God’s Word. On Palm Sunday, he was to give his last sermon. He was planning to retire after Easter Sunday and begin intensive treatments for his cancer, but Easter Sunday’s service was a cantata and he would have been singing, not preaching. But the weekend of his last sermon, the tumor in his lungs wrapped tendrils around his vocal chords and he lost his voice suddenly and almost completely. He had to deliver his last sermon in a whisper, and he wasn’t able to sing the Lord’s praises on Easter Sunday. I can’t imagine how painful and humbling this must have been for him.

This also meant that we couldn’t talk by phone anymore, it was impossible to understand him, frustrating for both of us. Thank the Lord for the technology of FaceTime to bridge the gap! We both had iPhones and could video chat with our phones. Even though I still couldn’t hear him, I could see his face, and being able to read his lips while he whispered made communication possible. It was a great blessing to me because I felt so helpless being so far away (he was in Missouri and I am in Colorado).  So shortly after he lost his voice completely, I came across these verses. Through God’s grace alone I memorized them almost instantly and was able to share them with my Dad via FaceTime. They became sort of a theme for us during this difficult time, and we would quote portions to each other for encouragement. They are a comfort to me still, and probably the single most important verses for carrying me through the ordeal of watching my beloved Dad suffer and die.

2 Corinthians 4:6-9, 16-18

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)

6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

At I write this I have just returned from California where I attended the funeral of a dear friend who endured a lifetime of health struggles and suffering. It is so encouraging to me to know that both my sweet Lorraine and my darling Dad believed with all their hearts that though outwardly they were wasting away, inwardly they were being renewed day by day., and that their light and momentary troubles, which to me didn’t seem light at all, were achieving for them an eternal glory that far outweighed them all. Thank you Lord for the comfort of these verses, a year ago, today, and in any and all trials to come. It’s all light and momentary, and achieving an eternal glory that far outweighs any trial.

This year in scripture memory has been so different, working on Jesus’s sermon on the mount with a group of women rather than choosing verses which spoke to me first, then I committed to memory. This year I work at memorizing the verses, sometimes for weeks, before I even feel that I understand their meaning. But when they become clear, Wow. So incredibly powerful. I suspect that this year’s verses will change my life in ways I can’t even imagine right now. If you are interested in joining in the discussion of this amazing sermon, please click here.

Matthew 5:25-30

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)

25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

It’s your turn, sisters. Please post the verses you are working on now, how they are moving you, and the verses you memorized last year if you have done this before. Thank you so much for reading, I look forward to hearing from you! I am so grateful for each and every one of you.

 

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13 thoughts on “Verse 8, and my heart laid bare

  1. peggylangille says:

    I remember when you did these verses in Houston, that’s when I knew without a doubt I wanted to be your friend! (That and your love for Pappasittos.) Beautiful verses, beautiful story, beautiful daughter.

    Last year this time I was learning one verse — because I was not an overachiever 🙂 it was Ps 27:8 – My heart says seek his face, your face I will seek O’Lord. I found it because I memorized a verse from Ps 27 for the first verse of the month and so when I read the rest of the Psalm, I loved this verse. Trust was the prayer of my heart last year and this seemed to go nicely with it.

    This year — loving and hating what the SOTM is requiring of me. Some weeks I yearn for the easy words like this one. But with, “post 26 verses of the SOTM”, eyes I’m not sure that Ps 27:8 was that easy. It sounded nice but I don’t think it forced me to act. When I look at it now — I see it differently. I think it took me most of last year, my first venture into scripture memorization, to come to a different place — to start to see and interact with the world and God differently. So in light of that, I think that memorizing 24 verses of His word was my attempt to seek His face and this year He has upped the stakes!

    Love you — I wonder if my Mom and Dad have met your Dad and if they said ‘hey our girls are friends, isn’t that wild, what a different life than when we grew up!”

    • caragab says:

      peggy – what an awesome thought, that your parents are all together!

    • Christy says:

      Dear Peggy, I have no doubt that our parents are rejoicing together over our friendship! I love what you said about your verses from last year having a different meaning for you this year. Absolutely love the living, breathing word of God.

  2. caragab says:

    oh sweet christy, thank you for sharing your heart. those corinthians verses are so so important for us to remember!

    my verses this time last year were: Col 4:2,5-6
    Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchfully and thankful. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

    these verses are my guide – i started the salt and grace blog with this in mind, and i try to let them inform my actions and reactions. i get it wrong – a lot – but i keep coming back to them as my touchstone.

  3. tdbell says:

    This time 2 Peter 1:3 keeps coming up. I have encountered it at least 3 or 4 times this week. So, I think I will work on it. “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” He and His word are all I need!

  4. Linda says:

    Good Morning Siestas!
    My verse for this time is:
    The spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, because the Lord has appointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to announce that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come, Is. 61:1 – 2a NLT

    there is more to that beautiful passage, but I will have to break it up into two parts. Next time around I will memorize 2b – 3.

    My verse last year at this time was:
    How then can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? Romans 10:14

    See a pattern here? Yes, the Lord is calling us, loud and clear, to do some work for Him! Brent and I have started volunteering at one of the youth group homes here and we are very excited. There are 4 boys and 4 girls between the ages of 13 – 17 – all from various walks in life and all carrying lots of baggage! We are getting to know them and enjoying hanging out with them 2 hours a week. We are looking forward to building relationships with them and letting the Lord do his thing through us! Yeehaw! I’ll keep you posted.

    • Christy says:

      I’m so inspired by your dedication to working with these kids! Love your passage, such power in those words. Especially “he has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted.” Too many people falling into that category today.

  5. Hello dear siestas,
    I seem to be getting later and later with my comments. Be assured that i am still working on the memorization. I just don’t always have the time to post much more so i wait until i do…
    Last year i was continuing to work through Psalm 27, doing verses 3-4:
    Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will i be confident. One thing i ask of the LORD, this is what i seek: that i may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek Him in His temple.

    My verse now: Psalm 91:8 (continuing to work through that Psalm!)
    You will only observe it with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. NIV 1984

    One encouraging note: my Bible study siestas and i just finished Esther and the final video where Beth reverses the statement: it’s tough being a woman in another woman’s shadow, she quoted my first memory verse of this year: Ps. 91:1 (He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the SHADOW of the Almighty.) I loved the thoughts that she shared that no one can overshadow God and also for His shadow to fall on us, that means He’s going ahead of us. Special thoughts that i now think of when i quote that verse.

    I pray that you siestas are all resting in His shadow and experiencing joy in His presence!

    • Christy says:

      What a lovely image, the Lord going before us and protecting us in his shadow. Thanks so much for sharing, Delores!

  6. Linda says:

    I love that Psalm 27: 3-4! Ps 91:8 just doesn’t give me that warm, fuzzy feeling, but I am sure it is still a good verse 😉 And yes, I love the imagery of His shadow falling on us as He goes before us. God bless you sister!

    • Christy says:

      You are so funny, Linda! Yep, it’s a little rough out of context like that, but it’s all part of a beautiful passage! 🙂

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