Have you ever had a bible verse show up at just the right time, with just the message that you needed? How about one that showed up from an unexpected place?
This has certainly happened to me many times, yet no matter how frequently it happens, I’m always caught off guard. I have no idea why it continues to surprise and amaze me that He takes the time to speak to me. Perhaps it’s because it seems too hard to believe that He has time for my tiny, first-world problems. After all, there are countless others with worry, grief, and need beyond any scope that I’ve experienced. Nevertheless, despite my undeserving state, there God is, time and again, showing me the way through His written word.
One example that stands out to me occurred a few years ago. We had outgrown our current home (in my opinion) and I had convinced my husband (who thought our house was just fine) to let me put our house up for sale. I knew exactly what I wanted: a newer home with a first-floor master bedroom, a mudroom, an open concept, and a 2-car garage. (In other words, I was looking for a house with every single amenity highlighted on every HGTV show ever made.)
Fueled with images snipped and saved on Pinterest, I put our house on the market with the intention to find or build the quintessential HGTV / Pinterest dream home. This of course was my plan, though. God had another one.
Our house had been on the market for a short time when some friends of ours announced that they would be moving out of state, and they were looking to sell their home quickly. It really wasn’t the sort of house that I had in mind, but it was the right size, and in a good location, so we arranged to look at it. As we wandered around the house, I quickly realized that this house had exactly ZERO of the items on my “must have” list. This house was also old (as in 100 years old) and would require a considerable amount of maintenance. Despite all of this, something about this house just spoke to me. I just felt in my heart that God had led us to this place. This house was meant to be our home. That night we went home and I shared with my husband that I wanted to leave our small, easy to maintain house to buy this big, old, impractical house with none of the amenities that I had previously convinced him we needed. My poor husband thought I was nuts (not to mention reckless since we hadn’t yet sold our current house) but because I shared with him that I felt God’s hand in it, he conceded to look at the house again, and ultimately to let me buy this impractical house before our own house was sold.
30 days later, with our house still on the market and no offers or serious prospects in sight, I started to panic. I worried about what would happen to us if we were to get stuck with 2 mortgage payments. I worried about whether or not we would be able to handle all of the added expenses for maintaining a home of this age and size. I worried about a million different things, but mostly I worried that I had confused my own feelings for this house for those of the Holy Spirit at work.
One night while I was feeling especially restless, I opened our family’s daily devotional and began to read aloud. (The family devotional was a fairly new practice for us at a the time, but has since come to be one of our favorite mealtime activities.) As I began to read the page, I choked up, and tears began to fall as I received exactly the message that I needed.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:6-7
This vulnerable moment is one that I’ll remember forever because God clearly delivered His word to me, and He gave me the opportunity to demonstrate to our 2 boys that when we are in trouble, we need only to turn Him. My boys still remember this night, too, and they know this is one of my absolute favorite Bible verses because it was presented to me in my time of need.
Over the next few days and weeks whenever I began to worry, I would recite and meditate on this scripture, knowing that whatever was to come was intended to be. Our house did end up selling before our closing, and I can now look back on this experience grateful for the stress and worry because it drew me closer to Him, and it helped me to learn to turn to His word in my time of need.
Have you ever had a scripture verse “speak to you?” What was it? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.