Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Verse Mapping

Well I have to start by saying how much I love this Bible study, and definitely love our reflection verse this week.  I loved it so much that I decided to dig a little deeper with some heavy duty verse mapping.  Check out these pictures from my journal:

The first thing I did was explore the different translations of the verse to see which ones I liked the best.  I'm usually a huge fan of the "Good News Translation", but I had some other favorites this time as well.  Check them out:

The Lord said, "I will go with you and I will give you victory." Good News Translation

The Lord replied, "My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest." NIV

The Lord answered, "My presence will go with you, and I will give you peace."
                                                                                   -God's Word Translation

God said, "My presence will go with you.  I'll see the journey to the end." MSG

The Lord replied, "I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest-everything will be fine for you." New Living Translation

Pretty cool translations I thought.  I loved looking up different translations and discovering how many ways God can show me this verse.  I will say that GNT didn't quite speak to me the way the others did, but they are all awesome. 
After I reviewed the different translations, I pulled two words out of the verse: "presence" and "rest".  I looked up the words on my "Olive Tree" app to see what kinds of definitions they had.  Here is what I got:

presence: (N) state or fact of existing, occurring, or being present in a place or thing;
-a person or thing that exists or is present in a place but is not seen
-the impressive manner or appearance of a person

The second and third definitions really stuck out to me in describing the magnificent presence of God because he is always present with us, even though we can't see His physical presence.  But overtime as my relationship with God has matured and continues to grow, I can actually see Him everywhere if I just know where to look.  My favorite place to see God is through the blessings He gives me everyday.  Listening to my three year old blessing say her prayers everynight as she snuggles into her bed...there He is.  When I see a bird way up in the sky with its wings spread completely, allowing powerful wind to sweep it from place to place rather than trying to fly against it, it is truly one of the most peaceful events to watch...and to me, there God is again. 
The Latin translation of "presence" is "praesentia" which means "being at hand."  And God always is.

rest: (V) cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength
           -allow to be inactive in order to regain strength, health, or energy
        (N):  an instance or period of relaxing or ceasing to engage in strenuous or stressful activity

I thought the above definitions of "rest" were good, but "rest" really became more apparent to me when it was combined with another word.  I had never thought about it, but "rest" when combined with certain words can also be objects that are used to support something, i.e. armrest, headrest.  I really thought about God when I read this definition.  After all, who is our biggest supporter?  Not necessarily in the cheerleader sense, but think about what an armrest does.  It holds your arm up so that it doesn't hang down and get tired.  Who holds us up when we are tired and can't take anymore?  Who is our eternal support and promises to not let us fall?  God.  When I have reached low points in my life, when I'm exhausted mentally and physically, and when all I want to do is give up the fight, God is there to hold me up and to support me with His powerful hands.  God carries me and the weight of my circumstances.  He graciously blesses me with His perfect and loving support so I won't fall out from under my own weaknesses and hardships.  Did He promise us a perfect life?  A life without heartbreak, pain, even suffering?  Absolutely not.  He promised something so much greater.  He promised, "...I will give you rest"; "I'll see the journey to the end"; "everything will be fine for you"; "...I will give you peace."  These are the promises of God, and God doesn't break His promises. 

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