“Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces; now he will heal us. He has injured us; now he will bandage our wounds. In just a short time he will restore us, so that we may live in his presence. Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring” (Hosea 6:1-3, NLT).
This verse will forever be etched in memory as the first day I read the NLT Bible. My mom was sitting beside my hospital bed in San Diego reading to me from Hosea 6:1-3 as the doctors bandaged my wounds. Due to severe eczema, I was missing the skin on my face and feet. At fifteen years of age there was no hope for a future.
Or so I thought.
I remember being inspired through my mom (also my hero), that there was a verse for my specific condition. And I desperately wanted my own promise, thank-you-very-much. I made a vow to God to read through the entire NLT Bible to find my own promise. Eleven months and twenty-six days later, I found it.
“In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation” (1 Peter 5:10, NLT).
I’ll never forget the day I learned the value of suffering. Like emotions, suffering is not permanent. It is for a season. “After you have suffered . . .” Waiting for the suffering to end was the hardest part. I’m not gonna lie. I thought the “after” part would only take a year.
Six years later I was healed.
To sit here and write for the same translation that saved my life is. . . . Well, words cannot describe how I feel. I gave God my life and He healed me. And then He healed me again. And again. I’ve continued to read that NLT One Year Bible that my mom gave me as I laid in that hospital bed, every year since. That’s it in the picture above. If it weren’t for my daily Bible readings I wouldn’t be here. Fact.
You see, I can try to do things in my own strength, but that only gets me so far. With God and the power of the Holy Spirit, “It is finished!” Done. Over. Complete! I wouldn’t give up my suffering for a day, not even one minute, because it changed me into the person God wanted me to be all along.
An instrument for His glory.
Now I get to write and speak to my generation. My first devotional book, Faithbook of Jesus: Connecting With Jesus Daily released this year with NavPress. I launched a new ministry for the 20/30-somethings called Throw Mountains, and I’m working on my next few books currently. I am counting my blessings and the promises of God (there are many), because He who calls is faithful.
Please join me here each Wednesday as I share stories, verses, and encouraging words to connect you–the reader–to God.