Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Bible Is Not A Book

In the beginning, God…
                Genesis 1:1

      On January 1 of this year, I decided to read the Bible through in chronological order. I wanted to read at an accelerated rate in order to complete the process within ninety days. In a discussion with my pastor, he suggested that it appeared an ambitious task and I replied, “I’m retired” inferring that I had plenty of time to accomplish my goal.

     My desire was honorable—quickly get the entire biblical picture and then slowly delve into those areas where I have the least knowledge. It began well as I read Genesis chapters one through eleven and then turned to the book of Job. However, something began to happen as I continued to read. I got slower and slower. I could not stop myself from underlining, re-reading, thinking, praying, asking God questions and pointing my finger at Job’s “friends”.

     It did not take me long to remember what, in my zeal to reach my ninety-day goal, I had apparently forgotten. The Bible is not a book. It is the Word of God. It is holy, and precious, and reaches into the depths of my heart. When I read God’s Word, He reveals to me who I am. I see my faults and failures as well as my strengths. I see where I began, who I am now and who I can be.

     When I read the Word of God, I see Jesus walking through the pages, not only of history, but of my life. I remember the walk down the right-side aisle of my church and the river of tears as Jesus became my personal Savior. Memory flashes replay moments, happy and sad, when I know my God walked alongside me.

     When I read the Word of God, I find peace, joy, happiness, contentment and the security of knowing that He has never failed and He will never fail me.

     So, here I am almost ninety days later, finally to the book of Jonah—July 7th’s reading. Needless to say, I am not going to make my goal (at least not the original goal). I suppose I am back to my old goal, one I set many years ago—to know God.

     I am glad God has a sense of humor. I am sure He laughed as He listened to my conversation with my pastor—not at me—but with me—knowing that I would now be laughing at myself.  I am glad my God is patient, kind, generous, steadfast, trustworthy, faithful…

     I must admit that I am looking forward to the “Amen” in Revelation 22:21. And, while it will take me longer than expected to get there, I am enjoying the journey. So for today, I’m off to watch God work in someone’s life besides mine. Poor Jonah!

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