This week, I've been reading in Genesis. Our minister has been preaching a series on Old Testament characters and he started with Cain so I decided to go back through the Old Testament as well. Unfortunately nothing has really stuck out at me as I've been reading. That's not such a bad thing really.
While I do believe God gave us the Bible as His word and that we should revere it, I think we set ourselves up for frustration and failure when we come to reading with with the expectation that everytime we sit down, we will encounter something life altering, fresh, and deeply convicting. Then when what we read doesn't make sense, when it all turns into a big blur of words, when we can't even remember what we just read, we get frustrated and wonder why we aren't getting more out of God's words. In its truest form, the Bible is meant to be an amazing, living book that convicts hearts and changes lives at every turn. But that is what God desired the Bible to be in its truest, purest form. I think most of us fall way short of what God desired things to look like and so consequently, our plans to read, understand, and be moved by the Bible look nothing like what God really intended. I'm not saying we can't sit down and ask God to make things more relevent to us, that we shouldn't ask for God to stir our hearts and reveal things to us as we read. I certainly believe fervent prayers like that are a great form of worship and communion.
But I also believe there is something to be said about plugging away at Bible reading, even when nothing you read seems to be sticking with you. God has conditioned our hearts to need His words and when we read it, somehow He works in our lives to create little footholds in our hearts where His words stick and cling. It's like He squirrels away the goodness of His word until a moment when we need it. And then somehow those words we read a week ago, a month ago, a year ago, even a decade ago come alive in us and make us question something someone says or make us understand faith better or make us love Him more. So I guess this week, even though I haven't felt like I've accomplished much, I do feel like God is still moving to complete a good work in me as I read His words.