Honestly, I started to add an “or not” to the end of the title of this article. What makes us do or not do anything?
“It depends” is as close to the truth as I’ve managed to get. Something motivates us—we nix desserts to lose weight; we add vitamins and/or exercise to get healthier; we read to learn, to understand, for the comfort of knowing someone else is in a similar fix and they’re surviving it. Or maybe we read because life is hard, weighing on us and bruising our faith, and we need a break for entertainment or reassurance that bruising and breaking are poles apart.
And then there are habits. Bad ones are hard to break. Good ones are hard to keep. It takes more than discipline and will and desire—that much, I know. What more depends on the person, but I’m confident saying if a hard head or stubbornness would do the trick, in my case, it’d be done. It isn’t.
One of the habits I’ve most enjoyed is reading the Bible first thing in the morning. It set the tone and my mood for the day, and I started even the most hectic days feeling serene. That worked well for me until I had to insert ointment in my eyes at night (eye strain is tough stuff) and on awakening, I couldn’t see clearly for the first hour or two. That nixed that enjoyable habit. With my routine broken, so too did my daily infusion and time with the Word.
That led to a feeling of being rudderless and asking (Sooner or later, we all ask ourselves some rendition of this) “Why am I here? Is this what I’m supposed to do?”
I’ve asked the “Supposed to do” question a lot, particularly with all the surgeries on the eyes and such. I thought, if God wanted me to write, He’d give me the ability to read and write at will. That was wrong, of course, and my idea of the way things should be versus His way and His will.
It took me a while to figure that out. Namely, it took sitting with my eyes sown shut for three days after a surgery to realize that sometimes when we can’t see at all, we see most clearly. It had to do with dependency.
We’re taught to be self-reliant, to take responsibility for ourselves and our actions, and we have to come to understand that we’re always to rest in God. To rely on Him. To be dependent on Him. That’s what those three days taught me.
If, in my Bible reading, I’d read 2 Corinthians 9:12 (NIV) with an insight I lacked at the times I’d read it previously, I might have gleaned the wisdom offered and needed and been able to skip that 3-day lesson. The verse reads: “This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.”
And there it was. The answer to my “Is this what I’m supposed to do” question.
Which of course brought to mind another verse—“Be still and know that I am God.” That’s one of my favorites and when my world begins to lose its luster, and I see evil winning over good, it remains my go-to verse. I don’t just want it. I need it. And that dependency brings me full circle to relying on God.
My point when I started this article was to talk about Bible reading and why it is so important to read every day. To get a constant infusion of the Word is the armor needed for serenity in life.
Do you read your Bible each day? If so, what is the impact of reading it on you?
And, I have to ask this one: Do you ever re-read a verse you’ve read before–often dozens of times–and see it in a whole new light? (Then think, How in the world did I miss that so many times?)