I sat there, curled up in a swirl of blankets, with my open Bible in my lap. My mind was racing and my heart was weary. This quiet time I was supposed to be spending with the Lord felt like it was more out of obedience than a longing to be near Him. In my anxiety and stress, it was hard to feel like God was close or understand how He was going to work things out.
My eyes hovered over the pages as I skimmed Jeremiah 29:11 hoping for a little encouragement.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
I must have read that verse a hundred times before, and even though the greater context is God speaking to Israel after a time of exile, it still reminds me of His love and perfect plan that we get to be a part of as His children. But this time, I kept reading.
“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord…”
It was exactly what I desperately needed to hear. A promise that God will be found by any willing heart that seeks Him.
The words were the same as they had always been, but in light of the week I’d had, they settled in my heart differently. It was like God was reaching out to me in that very moment through these ancient words, to breathe new life into my tender heart.
That’s the beauty of God’s Word. It is steadfast and unchanging, but also powerful, dynamic, and transformative. Hebrews 4:12 tells us, “…the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
I love that! God’s Word is neither stagnant nor indifferent. It can reach the deepest places in our hearts and minds and transform us. It meets us where we are, but does not leave us there. God’s Word is powerful in every circumstance, in every corner of the world, and in every generation. Whatever you are facing today, wherever you are in your faith journey, God has something to say to you in His Word. And if you want to get to know God better, there’s no place better to start.
Through the Bible, God reveals His character, His heart, and His thoughts, especially as we look at the life of Jesus. God sent His son, Jesus to reveal Himself to us, so that we can know Him better. That means that when we see Jesus’ compassion, love, kindness, justice, and patience, we are beholding the character of God himself. Through this lens, we begin to experience God’s love for us, and God’s ultimate story of redemption and restoration comes alive.
As we find our place in the story of God’s people, we discover that the Bible is also a practical tool for every facet of life. It guides us, helps us grow, and equips us thoroughly for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17). It helps us discern what is true, right, and good as we navigate a world full of opinions, pressures, and temptations that are all competing for our allegiance.
A friend was recently sharing how workers at the U.S. Mint can quickly spot a counterfeit bill. They don’t memorize all the different kinds of fake money. They spend all their time studying the real thing. As they learn everything they can about the true bill, the phony becomes immediately obvious. The same is true of the Word of God. As we study and learn the truth of God’s Word, the counterfeit gods that the world offers are easily spotted. We can measure what we hear, see, and experience against God’s character because we know it firsthand through Scripture.
My prayer for you is that each time you read your Bible, God’s words will settle deep in your heart. I pray that as you see God’s character unfold, your knowledge of His love for you will grow and the depth of your love for Him will flourish. And I pray that you will cultivate a longing to spend time with Him each day, reading His Word.
It only takes a few minutes a day to start on a journey of discovering and experiencing the love of God through Scripture. If you are looking for a place to start, the first 4 books of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) are great ways to catch a glimpse of God through the life of Jesus. Maybe there’s a local Bible Study Fellowship or Community Bible Study group that you could join and learn how to study the Bible more. Or you can find a friend and take on a few paragraphs at a time together.
I pray that you will seek God with all of your heart, my sweet friend, and dive into His Word with eager anticipation. Just like God met me that day, sitting alone in a pile of fluffy blankets, He is waiting to meet you too, right where you are. You won’t have to look any farther than the pages of the Bible.