Going Back To What You Know
I don’t know about you, but there are times when I open my Bible to start reading, and well, it feels more laborious than engaging with God. I must say there are many times I just don’t feel like reading it and a lot of that has to do with not knowing what to read next.
I love the Old Testament, and it’s where I spend most of my time reading. There’s so many amazing stories and the imageries between the physical world and the spiritual world are endless. What’s more, is the redemptive power of Christ can be found throughout the Old Testament, and as someone who enjoys the sci-fi and fantasy genre, the stories speak so deeply to my soul. But like the end of a Netflix marathon when you reach the last available episode, when I reach the end of a book of the Bible that I’ve been engaged in, it takes me a while to figure out where to go next. I will pray about it, try to read some Biblically based books looking for direction or go to a devotional, but often I end up waiting and asking God day after day what I should read next. I have found myself in this place again, but with it being Lent I’ve had a couple daily readings to go to so have been opening up my Bible where they lead me. This is good, but for me it’s only good for a season until God reminds me that when I don’t know where to go, going back to what I know I love and relate to is always a good choice. Genesis I have no idea how many times I’ve read it. I can tell you, however, I have only read Job once and that was in Bible school. The same goes for Amos, Obadiah, and Nahum. Maybe one day in the future God will lead me to the books and speak profoundly to my soul, but for now I know I relate to the struggles, failures, and triumphs found in Genesis in a way I don't in many other books. I’m not saying what I’ve been doing the past weeks by opening up passages at the prompting of other writers leading has been wrong. In fact, it was reading Draw The Circle by Mark Batterson that reminded of the Jewish tradition practiced on the first day of school where students would learn the holy scriptures. The rabbi would take each child’s slate of scripture and pour honey on it and then tell the students to lick the honey. This was a very physical reminder of Psalm 119:103. How sweet your words taste to me; they are sweeter than honey. In a moment I felt God nudge my heart to go back to what I know and I opened up my Bible to Genesis and it hit me how so often with God when I’m unsure of what to do, it’s good to go back to what I know. When I am faced with a struggle, temptation, decision, or anything where I am needing divine help or direction, I go back to what I know helps me connect to The One Who Loves Me Most: fasting. When I am cranky, moody, and just can’t get a good attitude, I do what I know always helps: get away for a hike or a long drive in the jeep with the doors off (even if I need to wear a coat, gloves, and blanket because it’s December). I know that nothing has a healing effect on my soul like nature does. Over the years I have discovered I have many “Go To’s” for different situations. If it’s rainy I listen to French music and Van Morrison. When I’m having that girly “I don’t feel pretty” blah kind of day I curl my hair, put on my fun eyelashes and just get dolled up because I know, even if I’m just running errands, the extra effort reminds me that as a woman (even in sweats and tennis shoes) God made me unique in a way to reflect His beauty. When I’m sick I go to scrambled eggs because they always help my stomach. When I am having a short fuse with the girls I watch, I take a timeout for myself and remember to breathe. When I feel forgotten by God and am tempted to doubt His love for me I think of all the times He’s come through for me in the past. This is a list of some of my Go To’s. What are yours? When you’re feeling far from God, what do you do? When you’re feeling abandoned, forgotten or stuck, what is your Go To to align your heart back with The One Who Loves You Most? It’s an amazing truth that God is constant and His love and approval of us isn’t dependent on how close we feel to Him. I cherish the fact that no matter what it feels like on this side of eternity The One Who Put The Stars Into Place is crazy about me. And there are going to be times of uncertainty and waiting, and don’t get me wrong, in those times we must wait. I don’t act until I feel it’s time to act, but when I feel an urge to go and am unsure and waiting for the place for God to show me, I am thankful for the book of Genesis. In this beautiful book I find I am not alone in any situation I face. I am thankful for this Go To.