Many of you know that I am taking the challenge to read through the Bible cover to cover in 90 days. I’ve linked up with other bloggers and tweeters in an online support system that is amazing and encouraging – and we’re all taking this challenge together.
This is not the first time that I have read through the Bible from cover to cover. In 8th grade, my friend Elizabeth and I took the challenge to read through it in a year. And boy was it a challenge! But we did it! Even at that point in my life, I remember having read most of the Bible, just not straight through.
Another time I read through it was about 5 years ago. This time, I followed a plan that didn’t take me straight through, but jumped around on a given day. For example, on Mondays I would read a section of the law and prophets. On Tuesdays I would read poetry, on Wednesdays, prophesy, on Thursdays, the Gospels, and so on. I loved this perspective because it helped put some pieces of the story together by reading large chunks from different parts throughout the week.
All that to say, I was excited for this new challenge – I had never set about to read the Bible in this little time before. But to be honest, I wasn’t sure how much I would get out of it, I just knew I had to do it.
It’s about the time I am in the middle of reading the laws of properly slaughtering the animals for sacrifice that I think, “Is this changing me?” … then I start to see pockets of change in small ways in my life.
St. Patrick’s prayer asks for God to be all around him – before him, behind him, in the words he speaks, above him, below him. Christ can only ooze out of every aspect of us if we are filling ourselves up with him – and reading the Bible is a huge part of that process. After all, I believe that the Bible is the very word of God – powerful stuff.
Yesterday as I sat in church listening to the pastor tell an Old Testament story that I had just read a few weeks ago, I realized that this reading challenge is really starting to get to me. When I first arrived at church yesterday, my heart was ready to sing – I didn’t need the coffee to warm me up first or the time of greeting to wipe away the crusties of my outside world from my spiritual eyes…I was ready. And as I listened to the sermon, my heart was ready to receive. And as we sang songs at the end, I was worshiping with my heart because it was already attuned to the things of God.
As I read the Old Testament, God’s power and might (his “mighty hand and outstretched arm”) are a theme that stand out to me. I have been forming a character sketch in my head of the God of the Old Testament, and when I walked into church yesterday, I was ready to worship that very big and powerful creator.
So this challenge is definitely affecting me – more than I thought and in ways I did not expect. I know that if reading these words has prepared my heart for worship one hour out of the week, then I am trusting that it is also affecting the ways that I interact with my daughter at home, take care of my house, love on my husband (above me, behind me, before me, beneath me). But more importantly, I trust it is deepening the relationship I have with my Savior, in ways I may not even be aware.