Sunday, July 31, 2011

Out of the Overflow of the Heart...

I'm pretty sure I've brought you all on my journey with Jesus more this month than I have in the last 2 years combined. ;) That's OK, I just feel like I'm learning and realizing and experiencing so much, I, like Jeremiah, cannot keep God's good works contained inside me!!!

Some of you know that at the end of December 2007, I made a commitment to read my Bible every single day for the month of January 2008. That led in to February, then March, then April... Finally becoming a bit more sustenance than chore in June-ish of 2008. This daily helping of God's word got me through life's more horrifying moments (my sister's brain cancer from September 08 - June/July of 09). It has brought me life and encouragement regularly. It's no longer something I DO, but something I AM. I don't mean to say that I'm always fully engaged in the activity... I have to admit that sometimes I read, just because I need to - like taking my medicine first thing in the morning. I do it because it's necessary. Lately I've been swinging the other way, though... Cherishing how God is refreshing my soul through His words (can you tell?).

Over three and a half years after I've started this journey (that's 1,308 days for those who like that kind of stuff) something has changed in me--and it's a recent change.

I was talking and praying with a friend the other day, and as I was praying, Scripture came out of my mouth. We continued talking and I was able to speak God's word into her life, and to share exactly what He'd already said to me with her.

I talked to my boss about the same ongoing situation that the "Collision" post was about and I begin to describe one of the Psalms that God has brought to me... On another occasion I start quoting Scripture at work.

I take a walk around my park and my prayers come out as Bible verses.

I enter into worship at church and I begin singing (and signing!) God's words back to Him.

Folks, Psalm 119 says that we need to hide God's word in our heart. We need it tucked so tight in there that there is nothing that can pull it away from us - but so that we can freely share it, live it, speak it. It's not necessarily about memorizing a verse and having something to recite (though memorization is one great way to hide His word). It's about living and breathing something so much that it starts to seep out of your pores. It's about wanting something so desperately, about seeking something so wholeheartedly, that we can't help but share what it is we're pursuing.

I wish I could erase some of the wasted time I've spent over the last three and a half years. Maybe this would have happened sooner. But I think that my sins, my issues, my foibles and fall-backs, all serve one purpose - to tell you that this is not me. This is simply a reflection of my Savior living and breathing through me, and I am simply a (mostly) willing vessel, wanting to be used.

But it took years y'all.


Years to move from awkwardly talking about what the Bible says to starting to breathe it to life.

Was it worth it??
Heck yeah.

Is it worth it for YOU to start?
So much more than you could ever imagine.


Jenni said...

hey, I like your watercolor background. More later!

Jenni said...

Do you read front to back or skip around? I feel like I know what you're going to say but I want to hear it anyway...

Emily said...

Well, it depends. I skipped around for most of that time. Then last year I decided to go front to back. BAD DECISION. I got drug down and went SO SO SLOWLY. Finally, still in the OT (of course there were times I needed to skip ahead and read something else, but the plan was always making it straight through), I had to jump out for something... and my bookmark is still there. I seem to do better when I jump around.

There are times when God will take me to something... say, the middle of Isaiah. I read a couple chapters there for the night. Or a single Psalm or chapter in Proverbs. Or a combination of all of those. Mostly I just end up in a book and read it. I cover the whole Bible that way. Some people would avoid Leviticus and his friends if they did it that way, but I don't. I think it really depends on how you do it.

I was parked in Colossions for a month or so... Finally OUT of it, but temporarily. Been slowly going through Romans (Slow - it's a tough one if you don't ponder each paragraph), but will probably go back to Col after this.