We Christians love to have a “life verse.”
Growing up a PK, I developed a survival technique I like to call, “make fun of everything.”
As I’ve gotten older, I realize I shouldn’t make fun of everything. Things I used to think were corny or ridiculous has begun to make more sense. The idea of a life verse being one of them.
It’s not that there is only one verse that should be important to us. The Bible in its entirety, as the metanarrative, should penetrate every bit of our existence. So to pull out one verse and pray it over our lives can almost seem…silly. Incomplete. It has the potential to fall significantly short. Let’s not even get started on taking the verse out of context. While this is true, I have found a lot of significance in praying a verse over the lives of our children.
Shortly after Lilly was diagnosed with CF, a disease which mainly affects her respiratory system and has no cure, I was reading through the book of Job and I came across this verse, “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life” (Job 33:4) .
The breath of the Almighty gives me life. One word in the CF community is “breathe.” The very essence of life, to breathe.
This became a verse that we could pray over her life, giving thanks to God for creating her and giving her the air in her lungs hour after hour, day after day, month after month, year after year. From this day until her last day, it is God that gives her breath.
So I succumbed to the life verse.
I believe that while the entirety of the Bible has ultimate authority over our lives, God also uses these little peek-holes in scripture. They serve to encourage us; grow us according to our gifts and/or struggles. We can’t see everything, but we have this little view into what God may have for us. After all, he made us with a unique gift set. Rich soil that is ready to receive, grow, and flourish for God’s glory.
For Wills we prayerfully chose Psalm 119:37, “Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.” As every parent knows, each child is so different. As we raise him to be a man of God in a world full of enticing visual, worthless things, we pray that his eyes will be turned away from those worthless things and he finds deep, satisfying joy by walking according to the way of the Lord.
Then we talked adoption. We prayed, considered, and said yes. We are so close to our son coming home, and are over four years from the date we contracted with our agency. I had no idea the trials we would face during these last four years. But the Lord has sustained and I have this gut-level feeling that God has big plans ahead. Sometimes it has seemed like bringing him home would never happen. But we continued to pray for God to move and His plan to not be thwarted.
Lane and I have had an ongoing discussion of the future and both of us feel like we have been chosen to raise our son to give him back to the Lord. Maybe to give him back to his native country, maybe it’s another country, maybe it’s away from us where it’s risky and scary…who knows. But we DO know that God has a plan for his life, and it doesn’t include me keeping an over-protective white-knuckled grip on him, however much I may want to. Gosh, isn’t that our default as mothers? “He’s mine, Lord. Not yours.”
It’s a verse I’ve recited, and a verse that is pretty well known. It’s even quite “coffee mug worthy.” But I don’t care. I was walking through Hobby Lobby and I saw it. The beautiful words from 1 Samuel 1:27-28, “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him. So now I give him to the Lord, for his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.”
I bought the sign and it’s proudly hanging in his room, waiting for him. If I’m super honest, this prayer makes me nervous. Crazy things happen when you pray these types of prayers. I’d rather stay where it’s safe and cozy, I’d rather not keep jumping off these cliffs of faith. I’d rather think I can keep the son I’ve prayed for for so long.
But I must pray that God continually pries my tired grip from my illusion of control when it comes to my children. Because I have realized that when the blood has drained from my fingers it’s time to let go. It’s the only way I can fight agains fear, it’s the only way I can breathe. These three children God has charged me with are on loan to me from Him. So I will pray verses over their lives and speak truth into their hearts.
God, give her breath.
God, turn his eyes.
God, make him yours.