200 days of Bible reading.
Maybe I skipped a day every once in a while, burdening myself to catch up the next day...maybe I didn't always write a blog post...maybe "200 day of Bible reading" turned out to be less clean and concise as it sounds. But 200 days of Bible reading nonetheless.
I sat down with my friend, my former high school Bible teacher this week. He is also reading the Bible in a year, he started in January. Even the two of us struggled to put it into words: what it is like to read the Bible every day. How do we explain the benefits? How do we tell of how real and good it is?
Today the best I can do to describe it is to say:
I used to have very powerful encounters with the Word. I would go days without reading and during those gaps my own noise, chaos, worry pollution would build and grow. I would come to the Scriptures finally and whatever passage I opened to would hit me hard, like a sword. Cutting through my noise and reminding me sweetly "trust Me."
Trust Jesus, trust Jesus, trust Jesus, did you forget to trust Jesus? And of course I had forgotten to trust Jesus. I was calling out to Jesus "don't You hear me?"
I had a list of wants, I had a truckload of concerns and I didn't see them moving..."don't You hear me?" And I would come to the Word and I was reminded that God does hear me and that in fact, I hadn't been hearing Him.
This song of "don't You hear me?" used to be my theme. And in a lot of ways, it still is a theme of mine. I still very much have my moments of doubt, worry, despair, and fear. But since reading the Bible every day my noise is so much quieter. I rarely think "don't You hear me?" because I'm hearing Him all the more.
My encounters with the Word have become less powerful because the sword that it is seems to be cutting through less noise. When I come to the Word every single day I am not hit as powerfully with "TRUST ME" because I've been hearing it every day "trust Me... trust Me... trust Me... trust Me....."
I am today a person who has heard "trust Me" every single day for 200 days. And I am today a person who trusts Jesus more thoroughly than I ever have in my entire life.
Today's passage in Luke is exactly the sort of passage that would have hit me hard in the past. In fact, it was a go-to passage for me when I needed to be reminded to trust Jesus. And today it hit again, sweetly, as I knew that I believed the words exponentially more than before.
"Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you--you of little faith!"
"And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do no worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well."
"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom."