Friday, April 15, 2011

He was there.

Day 19: What is your favorite Bible verse and why?

I've shared this on here before, but my favorite verse is Psalm 77:19.

Psalm 77:19
Your path led through the sea,
Your way through the mighty waters,
though Your footprints were not seen.

I took the picture to your right a couple of weeks after Gatlin's death.  Around this time, about two weeks after Gatlin committed suicide, I was still feeling angry with God.  Only months before I had 100_4760.JPGrededicated my life to Him after years of abandoning Him.  That summer, I had decided I couldn't handle my own life anymore.  It caused too much pain.  I gave my life to God instead.  At the time, it seemed like God had failed.  I still felt pain.  In fact, I was feeling more pain than I had possibly ever felt in my entire life.

Gatlin was dead.  He wasn't coming back.  I blamed myself.  And it hurt.

"God, how could you let this happen to me?" I would pray bitterly, but God wouldn't give an answer.  I couldn't feel Him at all.  Where was He?

After a couple of weeks, I decided to try reading the Bible.  During the previous summer, my thirst for God's Word had enveloped me.  I read through the entire Bible in a couple of weeks, making notes and highlighting passages and feeling a hunger for truth.  I didn't want to believe just what I'd been taught my entire life anymore.  I wanted to know God for myself.

I hadn't read the Bible since Gatlin died.

I let the Bible fall open onto my lap, not caring what passage I read.  I couldn't think of anything at the time that could possibly make me feel better.  Not Romans 8, not Psalm 23.  Nothing off the top of my head could possibly soothe my aching heart.  The Bible flipped open to Psalm 77.  Sure, I'd read the passage before, but nothing about it had stuck out in the past.  This time a verse seemed to scream up at me.

Your path led through the sea, Your way through the mighty waters...

That was me.  My life was an absolute mess.  Gatlin's death had thrown everything to pieces around me.  My life was a raging sea of pain and grief and confusion.  I was drowning.

...though Your footprints were not seen.

Was this a message from God?  I couldn't feel His presence anywhere around me.  He hadn't seemed to be responding to my desperation and my pleading for Gatlin's life.  I hadn't felt God in weeks.  Could this be Him?

It was like He was holding me that night, rocking me in His arms like a little child.  My footprints are there, Emily, even though you can't see them right now.  I'm still working through this mess.  

At that moment, I felt peace wash over me like a gentle wave.  Yes, the pain was still there, hurting as bad as it ever did.  Yes, I still felt incredible guilt and hurt over Gatlin's suicide.  But I could feel God.  I finally felt God.  His footprints were there in my life, even when I couldn't see them.

There are other passages of the Bible that I absolutely adore, like James 1:27 and Psalm 91 and others, but I'll never forget how the Lord gave me Psalm 77:19 when I needed it so badly.

What is your favorite verse and why?  


  1. I love Hebrews 11:1 :)

  2. 1 John 4:18

    There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

  3. Jeremiah 29:11-14... I even have a necklace with the reference on it... I'm thinking about adding onto it.

  4. Lots..
    Isaiah 40: 28-32
    '28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
    The LORD is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
    He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
    29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
    30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
    31 but those who hope in the LORD
    will renew their strength.
    They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.'

    Comes to mind first anyway.. I have too many favourites!
    I love the imagery of soaring on wings like eagles, even more so since hearing a seminar on them. I love the rhetorical questions at the start, they just make me smile! I have other favourites, passages from friends, passages which have helped me through.

    What a tough question!!