I know that I say this a lot, but I so often feel like the things I am learning and are really sinking in for me are such a cliche. I have been in church my whole life and heard the stories my whole life, but every day it seems to come more and more alive. For so long, I have felt like I could say, “ya, ya, tell me something I don’t know” … it felt cold and boring. But. Over the the past few months, I feel like my soul is coming alive. Ginny Owens (have you heard her music? Go take a listen if you haven’t. So powerful, such good lyrics.) has a song on her newest album where she talks about her soul coming alive. She talks about how she was in the dark and now she is coming alive. I feel that way lately.
I have always known that I should read my Bible … to be a good Christian and to grow in my relationship with the Lord, I need to have a quiet time every day. I also know that in Psalm 42:1 it says, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.”
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. – Psalm 42:1
And so, over the years, I have had my quiet time and I have trusted that longing for Him in this way was possible, but not felt its reality for me. To be honest, I just assumed that it was something that was possible for the psalmist or for other people, but not for me. I have loved Jesus and trusted in His goodness. I have known His love and His comfort. But His Word was not something that was alive for me.
About six months ago I was talking with a friend who was reading through the Bible chronologically over the year (I love you, Reagan). I loved that idea and decided that next calendar year (2018) I would start doing the same. I didn’t want to start in the middle of the year because that would mess up the daily checklist (anyone else feel that checklist need?). So, instead I decided to start at the beginning of the Old Testament, at the beginning of the New Testament, and to read a Psalm and a Proverb every day. At first it just felt routine. It also felt like a lot of reading. But somewhere along the line, and I’m not sure where, it changed for me. I started having a hunger to read more and grow more. If I had a chance to read, I pulled out my Bible instead of pulling out a book, not because I was trying to do the right thing but because I wanted to, because I wanted to read my Bible instead of read a book. Say what? Who am I? What has happened to me? People. The Lord has come over me and shown me that His word is incredible, and alive, and such a ridiculously amazing story. He has also shown me that it is all so interwoven … each part needs the other parts. I was reading last week just in the Old Testament because I was so engrossed in the story of it all. But the weight of the law started to get me down … and I realized that I needed to go to the New Testament for awhile because that’s where the HOPE is. He is all the hope and all the love.
And so, I feel like a cliche … maybe that’s the wrong word. But, I feel silly saying to you, “GO READ YOUR BIBLE”, because that’s what people said to me my whole life and it felt so stagnant. But, it isn’t. He isn’t. He is alive. His Word is alive. He is speaking to you, to me. He is loving us, challenging us, asking us to make hard choices, to love big and listen in. He loves you. Pick up His Word and ask Him to show you, to give you that soul that pants for Him and His word, to help your soul come alive. You won’t be sorry.