I have been trying to read through my one year chronological Bible…, again. I have attempted to read through it in the past but have stopped for one reason or another but this time I have been doing pretty good. Not only have I been consistently reading but I have even been enjoying reading through the Old Testament (sometimes a struggle for me, i.e. Leviticus and Numbers). As much as I am learning however this morning I was reminded once again why reading the Bible is called a spiritual discipline.
Before I sit down for 5 – 10 minutes almost every morning to read God’s Word I try to remember to pray first. Pray that God would help me understand what I read and that He would speak to me in it. I try to remember to pray that He would clear my mind. Turn off the hamster wheel in my head that feels the need to constantly be spinning, thinking and doing (did I throw that load of laundry in, I have to pay the taxes today, did I take my vitamins?). About half way into I Samuel as I was reading about David fleeing from King Saul I got to the bottom of the page and realized that for at least half of the chapter I was thinking about a shirt I wanted to return at Old Navy. I was thinking about whether or not I should keep it and about the less expensive shirt I got at Kohl’s to replace it. My eyes were still reading the words in my Bible but I had no idea what I had just read. The worst part was as I went back to reread it I was irritated that I had to read it again and began feeling the pressure of all that I had to get done this morning.
I am reading a book about how to move your son from his tween to teen years (
Six Ways to Keep the “Good” in Your Boy, by Dannah Gresh) and in it the author encourages mothers to “be salmon.” Salmon swim upstream…, always against resistance. That is so true of the work, intentionality and exhaustion of trying to raise godly children but it is also true of the Christian life in general. My mind will always gravitate toward deep, spiritual things like shopping or if I should cut my hair or grow it out. But I truly want to be salmon. I want to fight the good fight and I want to finish the race. I want to have the discipline to read my Bible not to finish a chapter or to feel good that I did but because I want to be changed by it.
“Dear Lord, thank you for Word. Thank you that it is worth a few extra minutes of my day to sit at your feet and listen to what you have for me today. Thank you that you are so patient with my propensity to gravitate to everything seemingly other than You. Help me to choose to stay connected to your Word when my faith feels non-existent, when I fail as a wife and mom and when I have seemingly unanswerable questions (I am struggling right now with obedience and why it is so burdensome when the Bible says it shouldn’t be (I John 5:3)). Help me to be salmon by the power of your Holy Spirit even though it is often exhausting, not immediately rewarding and counter to how I am wired. Thank you that You are always worth the effort. Amen.”