Ya’ll, I can say that now because I’m southern, the Lord has been wrecking me lately. He hasn’t asked my permission on the matter at all. Even before the night that left me sobbing on the floor of my living room, He was working on me. His word was not whispered to me, but shouted at me. Scripture was as alive as it has ever been and I readily soaked it up. I longed for the pure spiritual milk that Peter spoke about as I was surrounded by prayer and encouragement from my church family.
I have been hanging out in 1 Peter lately. When suffering was too much I went there to sit and study after listening to the Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference. Between Jen Wilkin’s breastfeeding anecdote and John Piper pressing into the fact that your suffering is not purposeless, I quickly realized that I needed to spend more time in this book. I’d read it while doing the three year survey of the Bible, but I’d never just lingered there.
So I lingered and I wrote. I wrote every word. I copied it straight from my Bible into a beautiful peacock notebook that I received as a gift from a sweet sister in the Lord. Then as I reread it, I paraphrased and wrote it all out a little more. As I wrote and lingered, I paused in many places. The first place I paused: verse one.
“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ: To the temporary residents dispersed in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia chosen..”
Then I stopped. Right there. Chosen. Sure, there’s more. It wasn’t the end of a sentence. As Peter continues he presses in
“Peter…chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father and set apart by the Spirit for obedience and for sprinkling with the blood of Jesus Christ. May grace and peace be multiplied to you.”
So much is there, but I stopped right on chosen. My life is not about me. It’s about the One who chose me. He picked me out of my sin and mess and muck. If He hadn’t, I’d still be there. And honestly, I wouldn’t be looking for a way out. He chose me for the life that He’s given me – that includes the difficulties that I can’t make sense of. That is why this verse – right at the beginning of where the Lord led me to study and learn to trust – struck me. It’s so easy for me to get whiny and stuck. I forget what my purpose is and why I am here when the waves crash so hard against me.
Then He reminds me, one verse in, that He chose me. Not the other way around. So with that truth, I begin to find rest.
Is there a verse that has caused you to pause and linger lately?