Weddings and funerals? Lifetime Original Movies? Chopped onions?
Yesterday I cried over something that has never moved me to tears before.
I'd had a block of time to myself (Thank you, Sweet Husband!) and had finished the last words in the book of Genesis. I closed my Bible and just kind of sat there and shook my head in awe, reverence, and just plain love of the words I'd just read.
I began to pray to thank God for His Word. And before I knew it, I had tears rolling down my face as I expressed my deep sadness over what seems to be a prevailing problem:
Many, many, many Christians just don't seem to see a need to consistently take in the Word of God.
Oh, they'll receive it in spoon-fed form from their pastors on Sunday morning. They're okay with a few verses sprinkled into a book they're reading. Maybe they're even prayer warriors. But as for spending time reading the Bible? " Meh."
I don't say this from any sort of a high-horse--Believe me. Because not so long ago, I was the president of the "I'm-Just-Kind-of-'Meh'-About-the-Bible" club. I loved God and prayed consistently and felt convicted about not reading His Word, but I had come to the conclusion that it was just a dry read.
When I was single, I read my Bible. A lot. While my friends were getting married and starting their families, I had the Word of God. I have notes in the margins dating back to '96. But then eventually I got married, got busy, and somehow got the impression that reading God's Word was something I really should do, but no longer wanted to. Looking back, I'm grieved at opportunities lost and truths overlooked. I don't live under condemnation for it, but I have to acknowledge I did miss out. And I bet others around me missed out because I wasn't truly seeking the LORD. Our actions (and inactions) rarely affect just us. And while I don't want to dwell in the past, I want to glance back to decide what needs to be different going forward.
After years of hit-and-miss, extremely sporadic Bible reading, I got into a Bible study 3 years ago and was reminded of what I'd known to be true in the past:
The Bible is real! And exciting! And convicting! And moving! And relevant! And awe-inspiring! It brings guidance and gives direction and breeds hope and turns our feet from traps and tells us how to relate to others. It is GOD-BREATHED. Really! How can we think that the very breath of God is boring?
But the number of unread Bibles in Christian homes just seems to be epidemic. I mean epidemic! And the thought of this very thing reduced me to tears yesterday. I felt--and feel--absolutely broken about it.
It's not that I look with condemnation on anyone whose Bible is collecting dust. First of all, been there myself. Second of all, I am nobody's judge. But I am deeply concerned about what we as believers are missing out on and who's missing out as a result of all we're missing. What lives are not being impacted? What truths aren't being spoken--and what lies are? What hope isn't being nurtured and what pits are people falling into? What directions are being missed, and what grace is going unrecognized? It's hard enough to live in excellence when we are walking in the instruction of God--how can we expect to live with any sort of excellence apart from it?
I have days that come and go when I spend zero time in Scripture. And I have to come back at myself with one question: Why not? How did a full 24 hours go by without me making that a priority? And what did I decide was more worthy of my attention in those 24 hours?
Maybe we're getting by. But I am terrified we're missing out.
Holy God, I am literally crying out for a stirring in our hearts to love Your Word. We talk at You and tell You what we need and never crack open the book through which You have already answered. We make foolish decisions that Your Word clearly addresses, and then wonder why You didn't try to stop us. We live our lives in pits when Your Word proclaims freedom and release. Husbands aren't looking to see how they're supposed to lead, and wives aren't seeking Your ways as they relate to their husbands and children. We say we want You but then refuse what You've said! Please bring a revival in our hearts for Your Word. Draw us to it. Let it so satisfy us that we can't go without it.