Jen’s Gem: Knowledge is Power.
A few years ago, I made a decision to start reading and studying the Bible. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed and wondered how I was going to get through this massive piece of literature. Even if I could finish it in my lifetime, would I be able to understand it? Oh, and one final challenge – when exactly would I be able to accomplish this goal? There’s only so many hours in the day.
As I’ve gotten older, my internal clock has done a complete 180 degree turn and I am now a morning person. Therefore, I set my clock for 5:00 a.m. and began my journey. I took the advice of one of my favorite spiritual leaders and began with the Psalms. These beautiful and encouraging verses were easy to understand and they lifted my spirits on days I was feeling down.
From there I moved on to Proverbs, a veritable manual for life. When I say these wise words will help you with just about every single challenge you face, I am telling the truth. I was beyond amazed that words written thousands of years ago could help a working mother get through her busy day.
My thirst for continued knowledge led me next to the Gospels and many books in the New Testament. These provided me insights into the lives of Jesus’ followers and the singular message of love that Jesus spread during his three or so year ministry. I was fascinated and hungry for more.
I wanted to get the back stories of the people and culture so that I could better understand the ‘why’ behind the writings and more importantly, to make them come alive in my everyday life. Now I’m in an in-depth Bible course and to say that I could sit in these classes 24/7 would be an understatement.
At first, I didn’t think I would have the time. I didn’t think I could fit it into my busy schedule. But we all know that we always make time for the things we really want to do. It’s just making the choice to do so. If we have time to watch the latest episode of our favorite show, then we have time to work out or clean out a closet or study the Bible. It’s our choice.My choice to study the Bible was made during a difficult time of my life. Before this, I was like many people. I used the Bible as a reference book, tapping into it from time to time to find consolation or hope, or hearing passages at church each Sunday. But I quickly realized that this sporadic and undisciplined approach was actually doing me more harm than good.
Today I probably spend about six hours each week reading and studying the Bible on my own and in classes. Quite a leap from the few minutes I spent years ago. The investment of this time has paid me back exponentially and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Because of it, my relationship with God has grown deeper, my faith has expanded, and my ability to handle the daily hiccups has improved.
I realize there will be some reading this post that will state that the Bible is a tough read. In some cases, this is a true statement. But I would like to encourage you to not let that be an excuse or barrier that keeps you from this life-changing book. There are a b-zillion translations of the Bible that make it easy to understand. I’ve even heard people starting out with a children’s Bible – it doesn’t get easier than that!
Since we turned back the clocks today, in theory, you have a whole extra hour to your day. Perhaps you can spend some of that hour reading a verse or two. Say a prayer before you start and ask God to help you understand what you’re reading. Ask Him for revelation about it. Reading it together will make it so much easier and He’ll be so happy to spend the time with you.
Knowledge is power and the more you know about God’s plan for you, your purpose, the better equipped you will be to handle any challenge life throws at you this week.
Will you make the time?