Lately I’ve been struggling to get into the Word. It’s always there in the back of my mind, but actually taking my Bible off my night stand and spending time with it hasn’t happened a lot. I felt okay, which made it easier. But I hate “okay.”
“Okay,” is not my goal, Christ is.
I think one thing that really held me back mentally was school. Talking to my cousin a little while ago, I realized that I am not the only student struggling with this! I used to read my Bible deeply, take it apart and put it back together. I loved seeing the history and context behind things, translating that into my everyday. But, as a student, my more academic, work intensive devotional habits kind of scared me off. I normally loved having structure (hello S.O.A.P. or S.T.A.R. or whatever acronym you learned in youth group!), but put into the midst of papers and labs, it killed my connection with the Word.
So, I’m taking something old – my Bible and a notebook – and doing something new! I’m not giving myself any rules, just time with the Good Book, and whatever else I feel I need to process what He is saying. I found my old markers and crayons, some coloured pens, and I’m hiding away my creative self-consciousness. I’m not doing this to show anyone, just to get God’s words into my heart in a way that is kind of out of my comfort zone. I’m not giving myself a timeline, which is something else out of the ordinary for me, but projects like this usually keep my attention, so I’m not concerned about actually doing it. It’s a nice break from life!
I’m starting out in Matthew, because that’s the beginning of the New Testament, a few blogs I’ve read have been talking about it lately, and it’s about the life of Christ. I figure if I want to become more like Him, this is a good place to start!
Matthew 1 said a lot to me about God’s plan. It took generations for His big plan to come to light and centuries later we still struggle with the big picture, but Joseph and Mary didn’t have any of that. They, on faith and at the bidding of a messenger, obeyed. God’s way was probably especially confusing for Joseph, given the consequences taking a pregnant wife could have in their culture, but he listened. And guess what… The Father’s promise was kept! God’s plan is solid, and He may have options we don’t see right away, or that scare us, but they will ultimately be something beautiful! As the countdown to my wedding and married life gets shorter and shorter, this is definitely something my heart needs to be reminded of. It’s not my plans, but His that I truly want to pursue.
So my challenge for you today, is to try something new as you connect with God. Whether it’s something more or less structured, inside, outside or any combination of the above, listen for His heart in a new space. What you’ve done in the past may be great, and something to hold onto, then this will be a nice little “shake it up” moment. Or you might be like me and need to realize that your life has seasons, and what is valuable in my spiritual life changes along with the rest of the flow of your life. My spiritual habits during school may not be the same as those during breaks, but they need to take priority!
Leave a comment with any ideas you have, your favourite spiritual disciplines, or any good devotional blogs you’ve found!