Family Life

A Verse to Cling to When Things are Hard

It’s been about six months since my last post. I don’t know how many of you are still subscribed or will still read this, but I have been thinking about you (readers of this blog) for some time now.

In January, my husband and I became foster parents to a third child. A newborn boy. He is amazing. But three kids is, well, three kids! So now we have three (three!!!!) kids under 7 in our home, and life is full and wonderful and busy and hard. What can I say? Much of being a foster mom, especially over a year in, is like being a regular mom. I do all the things regular moms do, my kids call me “Mom,” and, if we met on the playground after school and I didn’t tell you I was a foster mom, you would never know.

But I have to say: some days, things are really hard.

Today is a perfect example.

I can’t go into all of the reasons why today was hard. But can tell you this: my mom was here for a week, and she left yesterday. Which was hard. I had some scheduling mix-ups this week, which made me panic a bit (who was I going to let down?!), and that was hard. And the things I can’t really get in to here… let’s just say, they’re hard.

So where do we go when things are hard?

This blog is called “Coffee Stains on my Bible,” so you might be able to guess where I’m going to suggest we go when things are hard.

Yes, that’s right. The B-I-B-L-E.

Lately, I have taken to focusing on one passage of scripture for a season, rather than reading through the Bible in a systematic fashion. At the end of November last year, things were hard, and I remembered this passage and posted it in my kitchen, where I meditated on it every single day for weeks, maybe months:

It was thus that Sarah obeyed Abraham [following his guidance and acknowledging his headship over her by] calling him lord (master, leader, authority). And you are now her true daughters if you do right and let nothing terrify you [not giving way to hysterical fears or letting anxieties unnerve you]. (1 Peter 3:6Amplified Bible (AMP)

It was really that last part that stuck with me: I am a daughter of Sarah, a righteous woman of God, if I do right and let nothing terrify me—not giving way to hysterical fears or letting anxieties unnerve me.

I needed that. Because I was afraid. And I was anxious. And those anxieties were starting to really unnerve me.

# # #

I have a different passage now. Recently, a friend posted this verse on Facebook, and it really hit me hard:

Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
    Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
For the evildoers shall be cut off,
    but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land. (Psalm 37:8-9)

I went and looked up the whole Psalm, and found that it was exactly the balm my soul needed for the season God has me in right now. I have taken the liberty of putting in bold the verses that I am really holding on to right now for dear life:

Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
    be not envious of wrongdoers!
For they will soon fade like the grass
    and wither like the green herb.

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
    dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.[b]
Delight yourself in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
    and your justice as the noonday.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
    fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
    over the man who carries out evil devices!

Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
    Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
For the evildoers shall be cut off,
    but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.

10 In just a little while, the wicked will be no more;
    though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.
11 But the meek shall inherit the land
    and delight themselves in abundant peace.

12 The wicked plots against the righteous
    and gnashes his teeth at him,
13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
    for he sees that his day is coming.

14 The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows
    to bring down the poor and needy,
    to slay those whose way is upright;
15 their sword shall enter their own heart,
    and their bows shall be broken.

16 Better is the little that the righteous has
    than the abundance of many wicked.
17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,
    but the Lord upholds the righteous.

18 The Lord knows the days of the blameless,
    and their heritage will remain forever;
19 they are not put to shame in evil times;
    in the days of famine they have abundance.

20 But the wicked will perish;
    the enemies of the Lord are like the glory of the pastures;
    they vanish—like smoke they vanish away.

21 The wicked borrows but does not pay back,
    but the righteous is generous and gives;
22 for those blessed by the Lord[c] shall inherit the land,
    but those cursed by him shall be cut off.

23 The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
    when he delights in his way;
24 though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,
    for the Lord upholds his hand.

25 I have been young, and now am old,
    yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
    or his children begging for bread.
26 He is ever lending generously,
    and his children become a blessing.

27 Turn away from evil and do good;
    so shall you dwell forever.
28 For the Lord loves justice;
    he will not forsake his saints.
They are preserved forever,
    but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
29 The righteous shall inherit the land
    and dwell upon it forever.

30 The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,
    and his tongue speaks justice.
31 The law of his God is in his heart;
    his steps do not slip.

32 The wicked watches for the righteous
    and seeks to put him to death.
33 The Lord will not abandon him to his power
    or let him be condemned when he is brought to trial.

34 Wait for the Lord and keep his way,
    and he will exalt you to inherit the land;
    you will look on when the wicked are cut off.

35 I have seen a wicked, ruthless man,
    spreading himself like a green laurel tree.[d]
36 But he passed away,[e] and behold, he was no more;
    though I sought him, he could not be found.

37 Mark the blameless and behold the upright,
    for there is a future for the man of peace.
38 But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed;
    the future of the wicked shall be cut off.

39 The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;
    he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.
40 The Lord helps them and delivers them;
    he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
    because they take refuge in him.

We have our marching orders, sisters and brothers! Trust in the Lord! Delight yourself in the Lord! Commit your ways to the Lord! Be still and wait patiently for God! Refrain from anger! Don’t FRET! Etc. Etc. Etc.

I am trying to read through this passage every day. It is bread. It is life. It is wisdom and hope for me.

If you are in a hard season, I encourage you to find a passage that nourishes you. Perhaps it’s this passage from Psalm 37! Post it somewhere where you will see it daily. Take the time to read through it (perhaps in the bathroom? Just a thought. I’m not saying that’s the only place I have to read nowadays, but again… three kids 🙂 Ask God to give you faith to pair with your reading, that the words will find good soil and take root.

We have been promised that in this world, we will face tribulation. Sometimes having God’s word—a specific, relevant, poignant passage—at hand is just the weapon we need to face that tribulation with faith and courage.

# # #

What are some passages that have sustained you through hard times? I’d love to know. Please share them in the comments below!

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6 thoughts on “A Verse to Cling to When Things are Hard

    1. Katie, such wonderful passages! Thank you for sharing them! Psalm 61:2 is precious to me as well. Years ago, I was in a church where we sang a song based on that verse. I have tried and tried to find it to no avail. But it’s in my heart! XOXO

  1. I come back again and again to Psalm 46:10 – “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
    I am praying God’s richest blessings on you and Karl as you navigate through these difficult times!

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