As we embark on a new year, I like to take time to pray and to think about all God is doing in the Dwell Differently community. One thing keeps coming to mind: Don’t ever stop going to the well.
Six years ago, Dwell Differently sent out our very first month of verse kits in the mail. Six years means 72 months. That’s 72 verses we’ve committed to pressing into our hearts and minds. We get feedback sometimes in the Facebook comment section that one little verse isn’t enough and that we “should” be doing more. But here is what I’ve learned in six years: Consistency doing the small things over time produces a beautiful harvest.
When I feel anxious, which I do sometimes, the words of Psalm 116:7 (our July 2021 verse) always come flooding into my mind and I remind myself to “Return to your rest, my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.”
When I feel overwhelmed by circumstances, and I find myself gripping at control that is out of my reach, I think back to our June 2019 verse and remind my heart and hands that “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:14).
When the world around me seems just too dark, too lonesome, too sad, I remind myself of Jesus's hopeful words we memorized together in May 2018: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12b).
When I sip coffee in the quiet—or sometimes rather rowdy (I have three sons)—early morning, I pray our January 2020 verse along with Moses, that God would “Satisfy [me] in the morning with [his] unfailing love, that [I] may sing for joy and be glad all [my] days” (Psalm 90:14).
When I sit with friends who are hurting, who are longing for resolution, who are searching for truth, and I sometimes don’t know what to pray, this prayer we memorized in September 2022 comes washing over us as a comfort: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).
And when I am in a bad rut of working and striving and earning, and pleasing, which is my personal default setting, it is God’s kindness when he whispers again the words we hid in our hearts in February 2023: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3b).
When I look back on God’s presence in my life in 2023, what sticks out most is that consistently doing the small thing over time— specifically, memorizing one verse every month—is producing the harvest on which I feast every day. These tiny verses are my soul’s food, one bite at a time.
And so, I want to invite you to join me in 2024 to experience the nearness and the power of God through knowing his Word. I realize that some of you may feel discouraged that I’ve got 72 memorized, and you have zero memorized. Or maybe you are afraid you’ll start something and fail at it, or quit 2 verses in. Let me let you in on a secret: It’s not about the 72 verses. Even just one verse has the power to completely transform your life because they are the very words of God—words that are “alive and active” (Hebrews 4:12). Start with one.
I love you, and I am so grateful you are here with us. Thank you for the honor and the privilege of being a small part of what God is doing in your life.