When I Read the Bible
A few observations I made today about the general experience of reading the Bible.
For one, I was reading a Facebook post of a friend of mine, it was rather long, she quoted Scriptures and also made commentary. She alternated between commentary and Scripture quotes. While I was reading I noticed that I glazed over the Scripture passages a little bit and absorbed the commentary more. I thought it was odd when I noticed it and I realized it wasn't an uncommon thing for me, even while I'm reading the Bible for this project! In the moment I felt I could name why I glazed over it: because I expected myself to not understand it. And that's silly, because if there is one point I've been trying to prove to myself and my readers through this project is that the Bible is for everyone, it's not hard to read, anyone can understand it! I think I have proven that point to myself to an extent, but I realized today I hadn't allowed it to sink in enough yet. Maybe it will 203 days from now, fingers crossed.
The other observation I made happened tonight as I sat down to read and blog. I had a hard day. It probably wasn't all that hard if I look back on the details of my day but whatever happened I have this awful feeling tonight like I didn't do enough. I'm trying to progress at work and I'm putting a lot of pressure on myself to, my room is a mess, the kitchen is a mess, I'm trying, trying, trying. I keep putting too much pressure on myself. And I end up feeling like I'm not enough. Which is a total lie, and I know that in my head.
When I came to read the Bible though I was waiting for the message to specifically address what I was feeling. Because I know that I can bring all that I feel, all that I carry, all that I am to Jesus. I know that Jesus reaches out, enters my world, and shines His light in the specifics of my daily life. And so I expect sometimes for the Bible to be tailored to my daily mood. So I glaze over as I read the Bible expecting something to jump out clear as day to me "this is what applies to me today!"
While I reject the idea that reading the Bible should be in pursuit of "getting something out of it," I think that happens. I know I've experienced this time and time again where I open the Bible and BAM it's exactly what I needed to hear. But sometimes the BAM is dulled, even though it is there, because I'm not tuned for it. I'm waiting to hear something and the Bible says something different, so I miss it. I'm sitting there reading the Bible waiting to hear what I want to hear and meanwhile I'm missing what the Bible is actually saying. I'm busy thinking about something else while the Bible is going bam. bam. bam. this. is. what. you. need. to. hear. bam.
Tonight, I wanted to stop feeling like I wasn't enough. I wanted to have some rest from all the pressure I was putting on myself.
And I glazed over the reading waiting for what I wanted.
But didn't I need to hear about Sabbathing?
How God commanded the Israelites to REST, stop WORKING, and remember that it is GOD who PROVIDES.
It is GOD who CARES.
It is GOD who is ENOUGH, for you, for me.
Leviticus is so boring, it's so not what I wanted to read today, but isn't it exactly what I needed?
Rest. He's got it all.