She stopped me after Bible study yesterday. “So I started reading Ezekiel this week, it’s interesting, lots of visuals…” Fantastic – another woman who is motivated to read her way through the whole Bible! Quickly I turned and grabbed another girlfriend. “You read Ezekiel recently, how did you keep going and not get lost in the gloom and despair?” She answered, “Well, every day as I read I asked myself a couple of questions:
•What is the character of God as revealed in this passage?
•Is there hope?
•And what is relevant in this chapter for me? Is there anything I can apply or think about today?
And then I would just write a couple of lines down in my journal. Too much writing and I’d run out of time to read. No journaling and I’d quickly forget what God had been teaching me.”
There are two very exciting things happening here: One, women are making the CHOICE to spend time reading God’s word regularly. You see, it’s hard to develop a relationship with God if you don’t spend any time with Him. He wants to hear from you (that’s called prayer) and He wants to talk to you (that’s called reading, reflecting, and being quiet before Him). The Word of God is to be our food, our sustenance – quit snacking! And for heaven’s sake, don’t starve yourself and then wonder why life is so difficult and you have no joy, peace, or direction! Get fresh manna, don’t hang on to yesterday’s manna because it will soon be moldy and full of worms.
The second exciting thing is that women are SHARING with each other what they are learning!
“Isolation is not healthy. We all need the influence of good people to keep us on the right path. Being around such people is edifying, enriching, balancing, and fulfilling, and it helps us keep perspective when things seem to grow out of proportion… As Christians, our closest, most influential relationships should be with people who know and love the Lord, or there will be consequences… Being friends with godly people who love the Lord doesn’t just happen by chance. We must pray such people will come into our lives.” (Omartian, Power of Praying Wife)
Last week at Bible study I was confessing my stress related to my husband’s retirement and our family’s move next month. The woman I was sitting next to leaned over and said, “Where’s your verse pack? You know, the verses you keep on index cards in your pocket so you can take those crazy thoughts captive throughout the day? What, no verse pack?! Mindy, you should try practicing what you teach!” Wow – now that was a kick in the rear! So I went home and made my verse pack and I am carrying it with me this week. Lord, please give me more friends like her!
Two things – make them a part of your life. CHOOSE to spend time reading the Bible every day and find a friend to SHARE what you are learning with. Pray that God would bring spiritually healthy women into your life – look around, are they there already? And commit to spending time together, being transparent, and encouraging each other to “throw off the sin which so easily entangles us and run with endurance the race set before us.” (Heb 12:1)
*If you want to develop a habit of reading the Bible but don’t know where to start, see the Resource page “Bible Reading- Where to Start”.