The Bible is old, antiquated, and held importance only for the people for whom it was originally written. Or so I thought. Then God found me in one of the lowest points in my life and animated the Bible in a way I never thought was possible.
My husband and I struggled for a long time to have children. When we finally did have kids, God gave us two of the most rambunctious little girls I have ever seen. Adding these two little people to our lives changed me in such significant ways that I did the only thing I knew how to do when life gets difficult – I withdrew and I shut down.
After two years of living in a depressed state where I didn’t see God in anything, I ended up in counseling to try to keep my life, my family, and my marriage together. One day my counselor asked me if I did any sort of daily bible study. I was honestly caught very flat-footed and used the all too common excuse, “I don’t have the time for that.”
I left that appointment with a nagging feeling in my chest. I made a commitment to myself earlier in the year to get up every morning and work out and I was now running six days a week. I somehow found time to exercise, but I couldn’t find time for God.
If we’re being honest, the conversation in my head went something like this, “Really God? I already get up at 5:15 every morning to run. Do you know how early I’d have to get up to do a Bible study? You do realize I have two-year-old twins, a husband, and a full-time job, and I’m in counseling because I’m not doing a very good job keeping any of this together. Sure, I’ve totally got time for one more thing.”
The truth is, God doesn’t ask us to do things that fit nicely into our busy, over-packed schedules any more than he asks us to do things for his kingdom that keep us inside of our comfort zone.
A few days after that appointment I made commitment to myself and to God to get up every morning and do some sort of quiet time.
I didn’t know where to start in a sea of Christian books, daily devotionals, and Bible studies so I decided to start in the beginning, literally, with Genesis 1:1. I found a Bible study that focused on one chapter of the Bible each day, got up at 4:30 in the morning and jumped right in. What I experienced during those first few weeks of reading and studying the Bible was amazing.
If you had told me that God would use the book of Genesis to teach me something new each day, I wouldn’t have believed you. But when, for no specific reason I started journaling my prayers to God, it was all there in black and white. I can look back and see him working and responding to me in such tangible ways.
Here are a few of my notes from my early Bible study days:
- Genesis 4: Abel offered the firstborn of his flocks to God - I have not been offering God the best of what I have but instead have been giving him my leftovers
- Genesis 11: God disperses the people at the Tower of Babel - God calls me to be separate and to follow him, not my own desires
- Genesis 13: Abram and Lot decide to separate - My pride is keeping me from being kind to others, especially when I feel I’m right
- Genesis 17: God promises Abraham and Sarah a son - How differently would I walk through life if I truly felt loved, cherished and chosen by God?
- Genesis 19: God rescues Lot from Sodom and Gomorrah - God is literally pulling me toward salvation yet I continue to dig my heels in and resist him
As crazy as it seems, 4:30 in the morning is now my favorite time of day. The world is peaceful, my house is quiet, and I get the opportunity to be still with God. Are there some days when I’m exhausted and have trouble staying awake? Yes, of course. Are there some days when I walk away feeling like I didn’t get anything from the Bible passage or I feel disconnected from God? Absolutely. But this time with God and his word has become such a part of my daily life that my days feel off when it doesn’t happen.
So my question for you would be, what might God be trying to tell you?