By Pastor Paula Burchill
The bible is often written for ya’ll—a group of people. The Israelites, new churches who were learning the ropes, people in exile. But sometimes I like to remind myself that the bible is also written for ME. And one way I do that is I just insert my name.
Kim Grasmick, an SLCer who often prays with friends before surgery, recently re-wrote Isaiah 43:1-7 for a woman who was undergoing surgery and her husband who would be caring for her. I share what she wrote with her permission. If you are going through a hard time, try putting your name in where there are blanks, and instead of the underlined words, put in your struggle. OR, share this with a friend going through a struggle.
An interesting fact about this part of Isaiah, is it is the only place in the whole bible where God directly says “I love you.” Of course, we hear that God loves us all over the bible, but here God says it directly. So what a perfect bible passage to read as for me and for YOU.
1But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, ____,
he who formed you, ____:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
2When you pass through the surgery, I will be with you;
and physical therapy shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk with pain you shall not be overcome,
and the pain shall not consume you.
3For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I gave Jesus as your ransom,
My beloved Son in exchange for you.
4Because you are precious in my sight,
and honored, and I love you,
I will heal you,
and return you to your active life.
5Do not fear, for I AM the Great Physician;
I will bring you help,
doctors, nurses, therapists, aides and pharmacists;
6I will send you family and friends to comfort you,along with meals, medication, and support for ____ and rest; Your church family will be there for you—
7you who are called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”