For most of my Christian life the NIV was the “it” bible version in the Christian circles in which I was discipled. I made the switch to ESV around the time I got married. It’s not often I refer to the NIV these days, and I forgot that the first verses I learned were from this translation and how much of my spiritual formation has been from hearing the preaching, studying and memorizing this version of the bible. I’ve helped my parents with their moving process lately, and recently I found this note I wrote long ago along with a beautiful verse from the NIV:
Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws,
we wait for you;
your name and renown
are the desire of our hearts.
This is Isaiah 26:8 (NIV). The day I wrote this verse on a small sheet of paper, I also wrote this prayer:
Lord, when I don’t know your will, I should do what I know is for sure. As I strive to walk in your ways, I will wait for you.
I was, most likely, in my early 20s when I wrote this and pinned it up on my painted bulletin board in my bedroom. It’s amazing how in the ebbs and flows in life, and a bible translation (and a bunch of theology) change later, that I see the answered prayers of a God who was always faithful to reveal himself powerfully to me in just the right time. In all the anxieties I had about “will God show up and provide what I think I need”, he provided not necessarily what I expected, but exactly what I needed. I find myself now in a different time and place, waiting upon the Lord again. And sometimes I find that my heart is more focused on him showing up in the way that I want him to, rather than making him famous right now as I’m seeking to walk in his ways. But then I am reminded of those promises he has always kept and the ways he provided and delivered me. My Red Sea moments so to speak. And so I keep walking forward in his ways. Pressing on. Waiting. And praying for the greatest desire of my heart to be making him known regardless of what provisions I think I need in this life. And so I pin this note up once again and pray past prayers once again. And today I do this with a lot of hope, pretty confident that 10 years from now, I will be recalling glorious stories of my famous Savior of how his power was revealed in just the right time bringing provision and restoration in ways I could not have imagined.
Father, your name and renown are the desire of our hearts. Be famous. In glorious Red Sea sort of ways.