A year ago, I bought a small silver locket and asked God to give me a verse for the year, which I would then write out on a slip of paper and keep in the locket around my neck.
After praying for God to give me a verse, I more or less opened up my Bible at random and put my finger on a spot. It turned out to be Isaiah 30:15. "If you will be calm and trust me, you will be strong." Not a verse I was familiar with. But I liked the promise it offered.
I wrote it in tiny letters on a very small strip of paper and folded it and enclosed it in the locket. I can't honestly say I wore the locket a lot. But I often thought of it, and occasionally opened it to reread the verse.
365 days later, I can attest that that verse carried me through a rollercoaster year. Whenever something happened – either bad or good – I said to myself, "Be calm and trust God."
And I calmed right down and I believed that God was in control and would take care of things.
I don't have room here to list the things that happened: the answers to prayer, the struggles, the joys, the surprises, the disappointments… Let's just say that life is a somewhat rocky road, and no matter what you see on the outside, we all have our ups and downs, our sorrows and joys, our highs and lows. But whenever I felt I had reached a really low point and I wasn't sure how I'd keep going, I thought of my special verse and remembered who was really in control. Not me! God. And I stopped thinking it was all about me and remembered it was really about him. And I stopped "doing" and left it for God to do.
That little verse got me through a year of many changes, challenges, and transitions.
Do I have a verse from God for this year? Actually, I didn't even have to ask for one. A few days ago, a verse just started running through my mind. Yesterday, I realized it's my verse for 2007. It's a verse I know and love, but this year, it's also my special verse. It's the one I'll remember when I get tired and drained, or when I wonder if I can keep going. It's the one I'll remember when the good things happen too.
My 2007 verse is also in Isaiah – 40:31. "Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary."
It's on a similar theme of waiting for God, and relying on him instead of running ahead in our own strength.
Interestingly enough, during the past two weeks, both my husband and I have been bone-weary – almost too exhausted to even talk to each other. It's been a strange time of just letting go of our cares because we don't have the energy to care. We're read and watched some TV and done very little of long-term "value."
But as my new verse leapt into my mind, I was reminded of the time when Elijah was exhausted after his struggles with Ahab and Jezebel, and thought he was all alone. He just wanted to die. But God sent an angel with food and drink, and then God spoke to Elijah as a gentle breeze, and then he sent Elijah to complete the next phase of his work. And just at the end God said told him he wasn't alone – there were 7000 other loyal people in Israel.
Like Elijah, I feel we have completed a huge work for God, and we have good reason to be physically and emotionally tired. And I can't wait to see how God is going to do to revitalize us, and what our next task will be!
Should you ask God to give you a verse for the year? Well, that's between God and you. I'd never say, "Everyone do what I do…."
But I would encourage you to ask God to show you if he has a verse he'd like to give you. And you can either put it in a locket or write it on a card and post it on a bulletin board or keep it in some other way as a reminder that God is with you, and that he is faithful.