Today, I want to talk about two of my favorite Bible verses that have really spoken to my heart throughout 2017.
The first is one I’ve talked about before:
“Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and do not be afraid.” – Matthew 17: 4-8
I’d heard the story of the Transfiguration many times. Jesus took Peter, James, and John up to a high mountain where he was transfigured, becoming bright as light, with Moses and Elijah on either side of him. I’d always heard people talk about this story, saying it taught us not to hold on too tightly to spiritual highs, that we need to go and live in the world, not just camp out on the mountain with Jesus, but this verse took on completely new meaning in May of 2016 when I was in Virginia visiting a childhood friend.
I had been so excited about this visit, but due to some strange, unexpected circumstances, I was left feeling anxious, lonely, and out of place. I was praying, telling God I felt like I shouldn’t have come at all. In the quiet, I heard Him say to me, “No, Clare. It is good that you are here.”
Through this verse, God showed me that I matter, that my presence matters and that one of the most important things I can do is BE HERE, present, in every moment that He gives me.
I have prayed with this verse so much this year, I’ve started thinking about getting a tattoo of it. It has changed my life and changed me. My first published book was originally titled Defining Moment, then Trying to Be Here, but I ultimately chose to change it to Good You Were Here because of this verse and everything it had come to mean to me.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life and what you will eat, or about your body and what you will wear. For life is more than food and the body more than clothing. Notice the ravens: they do not sow or reap; they have neither storehouse nor barn, yet God feeds them. How much more important are you than birds! Can any of you by worrying add a moment to your life-span? If even the smallest things are beyond your control, why are you anxious about the rest? Notice how the flowers grow. They do not toil or spin. But I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass in the field that grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? As for you, do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not worry anymore. All the nations of the world seek for these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these other things will be given you besides. Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” – Luke 12: 22-34
I suffer from a lot of anxiety, so the entirety of this passage speaks to me, but I remember discovering verse 32 almost ten years ago while just skimming through my bible. It jumped out at me and resonated in my heart.
Fast forward to this year. After one particularly good but hard counseling session a few months ago, I went to Caribou for some comfort. I was sipping my latte and praying about everything on my heart and mind, when this verse popped into my head. Praying with it brought me so much comfort and hope.
It seems every word was written directly to my own heart. “Do not be afraid any longer…” God knows I am actively fearful. “…little flock…” I am little and wayward and need a Good Shepherd to take care of me. “…for your Father…” God looks on me with fatherly love and care. “…is PLEASED to give you the kingdom.” It is the good pleasure of the CREATOR AND KING OF ALL THE UNIVERSE to know me, love me, and give me the best that He has — the Kingdom, here on earth and in Heaven with Him for all eternity.
There you have it. I am always amazed how these words that were written 2,000 years ago still resonate so much in our human hearts. God’s word is alive and active and I know I am proof of that. What are your favorite verses? Is there a verse that has particularly spoken to you this year? Let me know!
Thank you for reading, God bless!