A monthly column by Vivienne Solomons who is a legal consultant who passionately believes that God wants His people to make a difference right where they are and to stand up for what is true and just. She is also passionate about encouraging young women to walk victoriously with God and she is engaged in a challenging faith journey as a parent of a child with special needs.
Recent events, and in particular, those around the very complicated and emotive issue of the expropriation of land, has once again highlighted to me the fact that knowing who I am (that I am more than the colour of my skin) and where I am going (which, in my view, is just as important as where I have come from), and not looking to others (particularly those in positions of influence and power) in this regard, no matter how authoritatively they speak or inflammatory their words may be, is critically important in how well I am able to navigate uncertain times.
How else can I be an agent of positive change in my country, rather than one who fears the future and awaits the disaster that many would have me believe is inevitable? I simply cannot, and indeed choose not, to live my life in the alternative, tossed to and fro by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of doctrine and ideology.
In his book Simplify, Bill Hybels discusses a number of practices that help to keep our souls free of clutter (which includes every kind of clutter imaginable) in the midst of what can be very busy lives and even more challenging times.
One of these practices is what he refers to as adopting a life verse. But what is a life verse, you may ask? In Psalm 119:105, we read that the Word of God is a lamp for our feet and a light on our path.
We also know that all Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. A life verse then is a short portion of Scripture that serves to guide us in our current season of life, or our lives as a whole, and is a constant reminder to us of God’s vision for our lives.
It clarifies what matters most; it calls out the best in us and it brings us comfort. Importantly, it inspires hope rather than fear and a willingness to think beyond ourselves.
I received what was to become my life verse when I was baptised almost 30 years ago: Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 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 — Isaiah 40:30-31.
Even then it spoke to me, striking a chord deep in my heart. And time and again since, through the different seasons in my life, and in the life of my adopted country, it has clarified many things for me and focused my heart and mind on what is important.
It is at once both comforting and refreshing. It also calls me to a higher reality, which is heaven’s reality, where all else dims and my God-given purpose on this earth, and in South Africa specifically, is brought into sharp focus.
In addition, it helps me to filter all the decisions that I need to make and any opportunities that I am presented with. Such is the life changing and life sustaining power of God’s Word.
Do you have a life verse or a portion of Scripture that speaks to you over and over again, that resonates with you no matter the circumstance or season of your life?
If not, I encourage you to prayerfully choose one today. It is a powerful tool that we can use in simplifying and anchoring our lives, allowing us to become more God-focused and effective in all that we do and faithfully steward all that we are responsible for, which of course, includes this beautiful land we call home.