Reading has always been a favorite activity of mine. As a child I loved being taken to story hour by my mom and I remember fondly the sweet librarian at the Goodlettsville Branch Library who helped instill in me a love for the library. At home I read the stacks of library books to my dolls as I pretended to “teach” them (and often my younger sister participated as one of my pupils.) I even thought I might be a librarian some day! In college I spent hours studying in the library, most often by myself in a quiet corner somewhere. I still love walking into any library. The quiet, the endless opportunity for learning, the shelves and shelves of books that have been touched and poured over by countless hands and eyes. It feels exciting and relaxing and comfortable all at the same time.
As I grew older my life was filled with all the activity of being a wife, employee, and mom to 2 sweet boys, my reading list changed. Instead of pleasure reading it became marriage books and cookbooks, then pregnancy books, then baby books, toddler books, the list goes on. Reading was more about what I needed to do to prepare for or understand the stage of life I was in. It was a quick read to gain some knowledge, insight, or support. Except on an occasional vacation I rarely had time to dive into a good book and enjoy it as I used to. And when I did there was some guilt involved that I should probably be spending my time doing something else.
The most important book I have always wanted to read from cover to cover is the Bible. I always thought I would do it someday “when I had time” and never made it a priority. Last year I started reading the Chronological Bible with the ladies at church. I couldn’t attend the in-person sessions so I read on my own. I was amazed at how reading the Bible in order just opened my eyes to things I had never understood before. It made me feel empowered to understand the book for myself as if written by God from his heart to mine. Of course, along the way the busyness of life took over and I didn’t finish it all, so this year my husband and I decided to read thru it together. Another unexpected and cool blessing straight from the Father!
You know, when I read the Bible there is no guilt involved with taking time away from other things that need my attention. It’s not just “me” time, it’s “God and me” time. As I read thru the history of all that God has done he uses the words to fill me up, to remind me that He has a plan for me too, and that if I don’t take the time to spend with him in the Word he doesn’t have a chance to speak to me.
So I seek out the moments in my day, sometimes early in the morning, sometimes late at night, to dive in and see what God’s been up to. Yes there are a few chapters I tend to read faster than others, some that I’m not sure exactly what they mean or why God did certain things, but isn’t that like our lives too? There are some seasons we don’t understand at the time, some we want to move quickly thru? Just like the Bible, it’s all a part of His plan.
Reading God’s word kind of feels like the library to me, exciting, relaxing, and comfortable all at the same time. It’s exciting in that each time I open His book the creator of the universe has something to reveal to me. It’s relaxing in that it reminds me that He is control, that He is mighty and sovereign and full of love and always good. It’s comfortable in that it invites me in and once I’m in His word I don’t want to put it down. It really is the best place to be.
So I keep reading, one day at a time, in anticipation of what God has for me. Of course I’m a few weeks behind already but apparently God still wants me to be reading Deuteronomy!
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. ~Psalm 119: 105
It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of my life so he is that he may learn to revere the Lord.
~Deuteronomy 17: 19
How do you make time to read God’s word? What suggestions do you have for your sisters in Christ to set aside time with the Father in his word?