In my walk with the Lord, I’ve discovered that one verse can sustain me in times of crisis or challenge. Most of us have chosen what we call “life verses.” Mine is Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.” This verse has repeatedly exhorted and encouraged me when times were tough. And every verse in my favorite, Psalm 23, is a stand-alone verse. I’ve also learned that speaking out only the name of Jesus is enough to fill me with peace and assurance.
The most vivid moment for me happened years ago in Romania when doors opened for adoptions. We were among many couples from the west searching to adopt a child. We prayed for months prior to our trip to Romania drawing her name from scripture. The Lord assured us that we would discover our baby daughter with His help and the help of our faithful Romanian translator. In Romania, following many leads, inquiries, and dead ends, we almost gave up hope in despair and frustration. Finally, in the late morning on the last week day before our scheduled departure via car and plane, we met-in the arms of her birth mother-a tiny infant wrapped like a papoose in a cigarette-smoke filled Romania courthouse.
I looked into her doll-like face asking myself, “Is this her Lord? What should we do?” We learned that her birth mother lived in a small house with 13 people on $25 a month. She knew her baby daughter would not thrive and wanted a better life for her.
My husband Paul fell instantly in love with her. Yet, my cautious nature swept in filling my mind with fear. My husband wisely suggested that I walk down the hall and pray because the decision was almost immediate to set a court date to move forward with adoption procedures. I found myself staring out of a tall second-story courthouse window with my life flashing in front of my eyes. Is this our daughter? What should we do? I couldn’t even pray or repeat a bible verse. All I could muster was saying “Jesus” over and over and over. My husband came to my side a few minutes later. “Arlene, what’s your decision? I don’t want to pressure you but time’s run out.” Looking at him, I asked, “Paul, are you convinced that this is our daughter?”
The Lord assured me that my answer rested in Paul's joyous reminder. “Arlene, for months we’ve prayed and prepared for a newborn daughter. We chose a name from scripture. We’ve run across other children, but they weren’t newborns. And here she is on our last day to search before we have to take our return flight home.”
We walked back to the brave, sacrificial birth mother. Through our translator, she agreed to sign the legal papers and appear before the Romanian court in a few days. She began unwrapping our precious baby’s white blanket, white clothing, and took off her tiny white crocheted cap. She only weighed four pounds, four ounces at 28 days old. Our translator explained that the clothes were borrowed! Fortunately, our almost three- year old son was with us and we covered his baby sister in his small rain jacket. Later, we excitedly dressed her in the tiny clothes we brought from the states.
Yes, be encouraged. God’s words in His scripture are life-giving. And sometimes only saying the name of Jesus is more than enough.