If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, I have no good answers. I’ve been right here, except I haven’t been writing a single thing. I had a lot of writing due this past Monday, so when I got it all done I suppose I sort of took my shingle down and refused to write another word for a while.
So if you’ve checked in with me today, after a week’s absence, you’re more loyal than I am. Bless you.
But while I haven’t been writing, I have been reading.
My Bible that is.
And the more I read, the more I enjoy it. In fact, I’ve noticed that when I really make the effort to read through my Bible on a daily basis I get in a sort of rhythm (I am so thrilled that I spelled that word correctly and that spell check didn’t notify me of a mistake with its nasty red squiggly line…”rhythm” has always been a stumper for me. Just wanted you to know…). And each day the conversation between me and the Author of that love letter becomes more natural, more satisfying, and more delightful.
My quiet time has turned into a sort of dialogue in which I read God’s message and then I comment back, ask a question, or ask permission to apply that particular story, statement or instruction to my life.
Sometimes, as I read I hear God say something to my spirit like, “This is for you Kay. Eat it, chew on it and be satisfied.”
Other times I sense Him saying, “This is sort of what you’re going through isn’t it Kay? Take it and learn from it. Notice how Moses (Joshua, Peter, David, etc.) handled this. And notice my activity in the situation too. I’m pretty consistent, you know.”
And then other times I can almost feel Him gently slap my hand and say, “Don’t you dare take this story and try to twist it ever so slightly to fit your situation. You know better. I’m not giving you license to use my holy Word to pacify your flesh, feed your ego, or justify your sin.” Ouch. And you better believe I take my hands off that little morsel immediately!
And while I find great comfort in the humanity I share with folks like Moses (who lost his temper), David (who tried to cover up his sin), Peter (who put his foot in his mouth over and over), Martha (who whined about what others were doing), Joseph (whose bragging got him in a pit of problems), and James and John (who had this insatiable need to be first), I find even greater comfort in the grace God showed each of these people. And I feel that grace wash over me as I read their humble stories.
I know that reading through the Bible over the course of the year is not easy. I don’t remember if I confessed this here or not, but I know I confessed it to my Bible study classes: I didn’t make it all the way through the Bible cover to cover in 2010. In December I was still reading October’s assignment. And while I thought at first that I’d just continue reading October, November and December, while I also read the passages for January, February, and March, I later decided that was legalistic and too daunting and….well…retarded. So I stopped.
But I haven’t felt any condemnation from the Lord for not finishing last year. Instead I’ve very distinctly felt Him join me on the pages of my 2011 Bible every day. And let’s not assume I’ve read it every day this year either. I’ve missed days and caught up a little at a time. But I know I have a standing appointment with God in the pages of His Word every day and if I miss it, then I’ve missed out. He doesn’t get angry or refuse to show up the next day as a way to punish me. He welcomes me back generously and we pick up where we left off.
I say all this to say that it’s not too late for you to get a read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year Bible. You can really set this daily appointment up any time. And you’ll find that you too will enter into an easy-going, extremely interesting, and delightful conversation with the Author.
Let me know how you’re reading the Bible systematically. There are many other ways – devotional guides, reading the epistles through, reading a particular book of the Bible (like 1 Peter) every day for a period of time, etc. The main thing is that we meet Him in His pages, where His words are accurate and alive. Share with me and others how you meet Him each day. We’d love to know.