I’m doing 40acts for Lent this year and today’s act encouraged us to share our favourite Bible verse with the reasons why. One of my favourite verses is the following:
“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)
This particular verse has helped me through some difficult times through the realisation that I don’t have to rely on my own strength to get through difficult situations, that if I trust in God and lean on His strength, somehow he will give me the strength to endure and carry on.
It helped me particularly when I was pregnant with my eldest daughter and found out that she had a complex heart defect. At 22 weeks’ pregnant, my husband and I were told that our baby was unlikely to be suitable for surgery and would probably only survive a few hours at best. I remember vividly sitting together and sobbing in the hospital chapel that day, both of us broken-hearted, trying desperately to find a little strength to endure. I remember that I kept saying over and over again ‘God is bigger than this.’ The only thing I had to hold on to at that moment was the knowledge that whatever the future held, God would give us the strength to endure whatever it was that we would have to endure.
Philippians 4:13 was written inside my diary and I often looked at those words throughout my pregnancy, reminding myself that God was in control, that he would help me to do whatever I had to do. Not that it was easy; there were many, many moments when I almost felt that I couldn’t do it. We were very blessed though – we prayed for a miracle and God answered our prayer. Our baby girl was offered pioneering and risky in-utero surgery which was carried out at 28 weeks’ gestation – the first of many miracles that have helped her to become the beautiful and happy little girl she is today. God gave me the strength to get through it all and through trusting in God, I also found that despite it all, my pregnancy was a very joyous time. I made the most of each little moment, finding joy in all my baby’s movements, trying to make the most of whatever time God would bless us with. That joy in my heart throughout was only possible because of the knowledge that God was there, walking every step of that journey with us.
My favourite hymn, ‘Great is thy faithfulness’ also reminds me that through God, I will have the strength to keep going. The words in the final verse ‘strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow’ in many ways sum up the journey we as a family have been on over the last three years. The future still remains scary and uncertain and we have learned to live for the moment and enjoy it, but we have hope and the knowledge that God is always with us.