Since I often talk about the importance of getting into the Word, I started a series where I share one scripture or passage of scripture each Wednesday and talk about why it has meant so much to me. I hope it encourages you to get into the Word and to use these scriptures as starting points perhaps, but to also find meaningful things in the Bible on your own as well.
Ever since my first miscarriage I feel like I've been on a roller coaster; highs and lows that I feel are out of my control. But I've noticed there is one thing that keeps me stable, and that is God's Word. Hebrews 4:12 says that it is ALIVE, meaning that we can interact and engage with it! When you open His Word with an open mind, He will fill it as you read and you will walk away feeling encouraged, challenged, peaceful, and joyful no matter your earthly circumstances!
For you have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat; for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall,
| ISAIAH 25:4 |
April was a really hard month for me this year. As I entered into April, I entered into the month where we were supposed to welcome our baby girl. But sadly she had already been welcomed, only to be buried back in September. Her due date was not until April 15th, so I didn't expect the beginning of the month to hit me so hard, but it crashed in on me very unexpectedly.
When a baby shower invitation arrived in my mailbox on April 5th, it was almost too much for my heart to handle. I felt so overwhelmed. I used to think I didn't have a problem with food, but I definitely treat myself more than I should when I am sad. So I got some ice cream and as I ate it I remember thinking about how cute it would look on Instagram if I took a photo of my ice cream.
At first I just took a photo of my ice cream and as I thought about how I wanted to post it, I realized I didn't want my post to portray that seeking out comforts from the world is where I go when I'm needing to be consoled. Yes, ice cream is delicious and makes me happy, but only momentarily. So I took a new photo with my Bible and afterwards I told myself I could only post it if I actually opened up His Word and sought true comfort.
It may seem silly that I put that much thought into my ice cream Instagram post, but I truly feel called to point women to Christ in the midst of their suffering and grief, and I don't want to ever make it seem like I find more comfort in something, or someone, other than Christ.
I wasn't sure what I wanted to read but I knew that what I needed was inside and I opened right up to Isaiah 26. Verse three is one of my favorites: "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you."
Then I had the thought that when we set our eyes on eternity we are filled with a peace that nothing in this world can compare to. In this world of loss I feel like wrenches are constantly being thrown in our direction (pregnancy announcements, loss anniversaries, baby shower invites, formula samples in the mail, etc.) and it's easy to let those things knock you down into a pit full of despair.
But when you trust in the Lord and sharpen your focus towards Him, things of the world tend to fade away and are replaced with a beautiful peace.
I read all of chapter 26 and was so encouraged that I backtracked to read Isaiah 25. I know I've read that chapter before, but each verse was like a stream in the desert to my broken heart. I was feeling so discouraged, and God's Word gave me life!
When I started to read verse four my heart rejoiced to be reminded of such precious promises. Isaiah 25:4 covers it all. We are reminded that He is our strength when we are poor, in need of something, or in distress; He is our refuge from the storms of life; He is our shadow that we have the privilege of abiding in when the heat of a trial becomes too much for us to bear; and He protects us like a wall protects a city during a storm. Nothing enters into our lives that He has not allowed to pass.
That one single verse promises us everything we could ever possibly need in our entire lifetime! We are not promised that life won't get hard, but we are promised that every single step of the way, whether we are drowning in a storm, lost in a desert, or somewhere in between, He will not only be with us, He will be our Protector!
Psalm 91:1 says, "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty." What does it mean to abide in His shadow? Picture a young daughter walking next to her dad on a sidewalk. If she wanted to walk in his shadow she'd have to stay right by his side. She could barely stray or she'd find herself in the heat with no protection.
As daughter's of God we must walk right by our Heavenly Father's side. You may be thinking, "Why would I want to stay by His side when HE'S the one that brought me into this desert in the first place?!" I can't answer that question for you. But I can tell you from experience that when I find myself in the heat of a trial, I find relief when I continue walking with God. He knows just what my heart needs and He meets me every time I open the pages of His Word!
When you make Him your shelter, you will always be safe. When you rest in His shadow, you will always find relief. But to abide and rest in Him, you must draw near to Him. And He will always draw near to you.
Past Wednesdays In The Word:
Remember to check out what my friend Anne Marie is doing over at The Loved Bible Project! She wrote this sweet post about Wednesdays In The Word and how we are teaming up! Each week I will continue to post about a scripture that has helped me in my time of loss and Anne Marie is going to make a free printable that you can find in her Resources page! We encourage you to print it out and spend time soaking in God's Word as you decorate it and then include it in your own Bible or start working on a Loved Bible!