There are verses that I cling to during difficult days; verses that speak to me— that practically jump out! Though written centuries ago, the Word of God still fulfills its description of being “…alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword… .” (Heb.4:12)
I’ve come to realize that when verses are given to me by my very personal God (for He knows me completely and is very much involved in my life), then I have just been handed promises by Him.
Take for example, Psalm 71:17-18, which says, “Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.”
I clung to these two verses during a difficult period in my teenage years. A blood vessel had burst in my brain due to what is called an Arterio-Venous Malformation (AVM). Because of it, I had to go through a series of hospital tests, eventually undergoing stereotactic brain surgery through the Gamma Knife. Aside from these, I had developed a fear that made me afraid to leave the house.
So when Psalm 71 spoke to me and comforted me during this difficult stage, it made me wonder (for I had lost hope that I would be peaceful again) if God could still turn me into someone with influence. Would I declare His power to the next generation? This also made me wonder if perhaps God desired to make me live till I was old and gray; that I would not die prematurely due to my AVM. The verse was God’s giant promise for my life; one which I could hold on to.
Fast forward to now– more than twenty years since my AVM. I can say that I have been LIVING the promise. Indeed, I find myself declaring God’s power to the next generation through what I do as a teacher and as a writer. I love going out of the house, although my writing tasks usually take place inside closed doors. I am still partially blind due to the AVM’s effect on my eyesight, but I am very much alive and well.
It is always good to go back to the many promises of God for our lives. They remind us that God is a promise keeping God, and that He has something to say to us when we feel that all hope is lost.
Reflection: What are the promises that God has given to me? Am I living them out? If not yet, do I have faith that God will fulfill them?
Janina Marie Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of One Voice Magazine, a teacher of world literature, and a student of the Bible. She enjoys reflecting on life’s curve balls and plateaus. She resides in the Philippines, the country known for people who smile a lot.