There was a period of time, not to long ago, that everyone was discovering their "life verses" from the scriptures. Everyone I knew in the church, both clergy and laity, were coming up with a verse of scripture that directed their life or talked about their life. I jumped on the band wagon and searched the scriptures, andI came up with mine so as to not be left out.
Joshua 29:11 became the verse I hung my life upon. It fit me well, and it did express my understanding of God's love, direction, and purpose in my life. I discovered I did not have sole use of that verse, but that the majority of life verses were Joshua 29:11. I figured sharing this verse of scripture with hundreds was not a bad thing; after all, many were saints in my eyes.
Over the years I have noticed that a "life verse" has wained some and that not everyone is sharing their verses or even listing them. Yet, for me, it stuck in my mind that I needed such a verse, but my life and directions seemed to change but my verse didn't. So I looked again in the Bible and found other verses that might fit my life for this time and this season. Yes, it makes no sense, but my life verse is not for life, but rather for a period of time as God works on me.
In fact, I have jokingly (but with a great deal of seriouslness) claimed Romans 7:15 - 20 as the verse that speaks best about me.
15 I don’t know what I’m doing, because I don’t do what I want to do. Instead, I do the thing that I hate. 16 But if I’m doing the thing that I don’t want to do, I’m agreeing that the Law is right. 17 But now I’m not the one doing it anymore. Instead, it’s sin that lives in me. 18 I know that good doesn’t live in me—that is, in my body. The desire to do good is inside of me, but I can’t do it. 19 I don’t do the good that I want to do, but I do the evil that I don’t want to do. 20 But if I do the very thing that I don’t want to do, then I’m not the one doing it anymore. Instead, it is sin that lives in me that is doing it.
Yes, even for Superintendents, life is a struggle, and following the way of Christ is difficult. I realize if this verse speaks to my heart, then I need to open my heart more to Christ and to the leading of His Holy Spirit. This Christian life is not for wimps, nor is it easily lived. But, I believe with God's help all things are possible, even for me to get it right.
My struggles tell me that I am not alone, so I pray for you all, too, and for scripture to speak to you, not simply for sermon preperation, but for life preparation. Perhaps a new verse is one I have been told by my dearest friend that God gave to him for me:
"I’ve commanded you to be brave and strong, haven’t I? Don’t be alarmed or terrified, because the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Yes, sisters and brothers, God is with you regardless of how many times we fumble the ball. I continue to pray for you and encourage you with hope.