I recently shared the fact that as I read God’s Word each day, He gives me exactly what I need for that particular day. When I read an assigned daily reading there it is–just what I need to cope, have courage, move forward, forgive, change my attitude or rest quietly in Him and trust Him. Let me give you some specific examples from Eugene H. Peterson’s The Message, to illustrate what I’m talking about. Some of these are pretty funny, actually.
May the Master take you by the hand and lead you along the path of God’s love and Christ’s endurance. 2 Thessalonians 3:5 (given on a day when I was praying about wrist sprains, internal injuries & bruises from a bad bike accident)
I’m letting you know what I need, calling out for help and lifting my arms toward your inner sanctum…Blessed be God—he heard me praying. He proved he’s on my side; I’ve thrown my lot in with him. Now I’m jumping for joy, shouting and singing my thanks to him. God is all strength for his people…Save your people and bless your heritage. Care for them; carry them like a good shepherd. – from Psalm 28 — (given on a day when I was weary and praying for wisdom)
But you’ve made me strong as a charging bison, you’ve honored me with a festive parade. Psalm 92:10 — (given the day our high school (the Buffalo Bison) won state football, and returned to town with police and fire truck escorts leading the way)
Go ahead, examine me from inside out, surprise me in the middle of the night—You’ll find I’m just what I say I am…I’m staying on your trail; I’m putting one foot in front of the other. I’m not giving up. I call to you, God, because I’m sure of an answer. Psalm 17:3, 5-6a (given the day of Chris’ graduation from boot camp in 2001)
GOD met me more than halfway, he freed me from my anxious fears. Look at him; give him your warmest smile. Never hide your feelings from him. When I was desperate, I called out, and GOD got me out of a tight spot. GOD’s angel sets up a circle of protection around us while we pray. Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see—how good GOD is. Blessed are you who run to him. Psalm 34:4-8 (given at a time I was worried and anxious about something)
Keep your eye on me; hide me under your cool wing feathers. Psalm 17:8 (given on a stifling, hot day)
I have a friend who was starting a new job as a middle school music teacher, and she was especially nervous about conducting the choir with her hands. Her scripture reading at that time said, “Whatever happens, conduct…” (Philippians 1:27–NIV). We just had to laugh, how God added humor to the day and gave her the courage to do what He had equipped her to do.
I could give hundreds (or thousands) of examples like this. Some are too personal to share. These are just a few that I wrote down in my journals from The Message; I’ll share more in the future. I read from various translations, and the same thing occurs with any of the Bibles I’m reading. Seeing the same scripture from various translations helps me see the passage from different perspectives, and helps me understand God’s heart a little more each day.
I don’t share this to brag on my own faith or “goodness;” I am only human like anyone else — weak, failing, imperfect. I share this to reveal how good and faithful God is. He is always present and speaking to me in my daily needs. It’s all about Him, not about us.