Slow and Steady Does Win the Race: The Challenge of Consistency

The Challenge of ConsistencyRemember that Tortoise and Hare?

There’s a saying,slow and steady wins the race.” Other words describing this principle are

  • consistency
  • perseverance
  • doing the work

Is it hard to be consistent and persevere when you don’t see it paying off?

In the Love Affair that’s Not With My Husband bible study, we’ve witnessed Esther being consistent and persevering in what Mordecai instructed her to do {Esther 2}. We’ve identified how hard it is to “trust and obey” when we don’t see the results of our efforts. 

Things You Feel

Whatever you call it –

  • impatience
  • discouragement 
  • frustration
  • self-pity

…if it pulls you away from being obedient, it impacts.

Doubts You Havea pity party

  • Have you ever had a knock-down, drag-out pity party with God?
  • Have you ever been impatient and jumped ahead of God?
  • Have you ever been discouraged by people whizzing by you while you’re consistent in the task you’re called to?
  • Have you ever felt God just doesn’t see you?

I’ve had these feelings. As the bible study ladies and I have been looking at God’s character and perspective, we’ve been reminded we don’t see what God sees. We don’t see the finish line. We don’t see what we’re overcoming by being consistent, persistent, and faithful. We don’t see the character God is forming in us when we do the steady work.

But God does. 

Like Esther, at just the right time God puts us in situations where the work pays off. Slow and steady does win the race, if we are patient and have faith in the One who holds all things in His hands.

Applying It To Scripture

The same is true for our study of scripture. When we’re faithful and consistent by spending time in His word, He builds things in our character we’ll need later on. By looking at God’s character when studying scripture, it gives us a picture of His faithfulness and reminds us that He is the only One who sees the whole picture!  Join us in studying God’s word by looking at

  • God’s perspective
  • God’s character
  • How you can apply His perspective and character to your personal situation.

We’re using these principles as we study the book of Esther, but you can use them in studying any scripture passage. We’d love to hear what qualities of God’s character you are learning about as you study His word.

I’m hoping to put together a simple resource to offer readers when our bible study is complete. In the meantime, whether it’s studying scripture, living your faith, parenting your children, or doing the job you’re called to do – be consistent, persevering, and don’t give up. 

Remember the rabbit probably got tired when the tortoise got his second wind.

tortoise and hare finish line

Sometimes being patience brings the opportunity for the last stretch to be the best one ever.

Slow and steady……whatever your race, He’s the one who brings you to the finish line.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  Galatians 6:9

Getting Ready to Cross Over

They stood before the great River.

They fought hard, endured much, and it was before them.Great River

The time was Now.

The Promised Land.

All they hoped and dreamed of and been promised.

“They camped….for three days” (Joshua 3:2)

Do you camp for three days before you are ready for something big in your life?

As I read this verse I was startled because this is not my natural instinct – to wait, to rest, to prepare.

How many times do you get to a point in your life you are ready to just GO because you finally know where God is taking you?

We can learn a thing or two from Joshua and his men.  They waited.  They strategized.  They gained composure before claiming what God had prepared them for.

“When you see the Ark of The Covenant…..you are to follow it. Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before.” Joshua 3:3-4

These words grip me.  Not only did the men wait before going where God called them, but they were instructed to follow the Presence of God (via the Ark) because they had never been to the place they were going before, and they didn’t know which way to go.

Is God calling you to something new? If so, here are thought-provoking principals from this passage.

  • Wait for God to lead.
  • Stay behind the Father, do not run ahead.
  • Keep your eyes on His Presence because He knows where you’re going {you don’t}.
  • Keep your footsteps in His path because He knows what the new environment is like and the challenges you may have.

Sand Dunes Along Ocean

I don’t know about you, but I tend to see new opportunities and jump into them.  I tend to know what God has called me too but am tempted to run ahead.  Then I get frustrated and disillusioned when the honeymoon period of the “new thing” wears off.

I’m challenged to take these principles to heart, not just for new opportunities, but for every day.

  • Wait for God to lead.
  • Stay behind Him
  • Keep my eyes on His presence because He knows where I need to go.
  • Keep my footsteps in His path because He knows what’s up ahead.

I hope these principles bring you hope, strength, and peace, too, for your situation.

Where and what is God calling you to?  Will you be  patient?  Will you wait for Him to lead, and keep your eyes on Him and rest in His presence?

Father, help us to be like Joshua’s men…..waiting, staying behind you, keeping our eyes on your presence and our feet in your path.  Help us to see, hear, and follow you.

Winter’s Here, But Spring is Coming

Like other parts of the Midwest, Spring is coming late this year on the Back Forty.  As I write, the calendar says wSpring has arrived, but snow is pelting the window. I’m a whiner about March anyway, so the late spring has made me a Champion Whiner.  {Trophy, please.}

There’s one difference, though.  I know it will end.  Rules of Mother Nature don’t lie.  Spring will always begin on March 20 even though it might be snowing.  I have faith and trust in the fact that March 20 means things are changing in the Earth even though the circumstances and snow around me say different.   Snow on March 20 and February 20 are different because one is in season and the other is not.  In March, I know better days are eminent.

Life and faith are similar.

There are times where circumstances around us dictate something contradictory to the Truth we know.  I mean the One and Only Truth – Jehovah God, Christ the Messiah, and the Holy Spirit.  Spiritual truth is relative depending on who you talk to, just like spring seems relative when snow pelts the ground trying to wake up.  But just as the rules of science say March 20 is Spring, the Word of God says God’s character is:

  • gracious
  • compassionate
  • slow to anger
  • abounding in love
  • loving
  • merciful
  • kind
  • patient
  • forgiving
  • holy
  • just
  • the list can go on.

When your world is dark and harsh snow is pelting in your face, what gives you hope?  When walking in the dark the other day and cold snow was stinging my cheeks, I despised the circumstances, but I had hope it would not be this way forever.  I knew it was Spring, despite what the weather said.  I knew sunshine, warm weather, and new growth would be here.  I believed the truth I knew regardless of what I was experiencing.

Cross and BibleThe more you get to know God’s character through His Word, through prayer, through petition, trust, and faith, the easier you can stand on the Truth of Who He is when storms surround you.  A.W. Tozer says, “What comes to our mind when we think about God is the most important thing about us” (The Knowledge of The Holy, cited by Steven Furtick in Sun Stand Still, Multnomah Press).   Are you able to despise stormy circumstances while being hopeful in the Truth of God?

There have been difficult deaths in my circles lately.  Difficult storms of life that don’t seem to end.  When my own world came crashing down several years ago, shattering all images of God I knew up to that point, I could stand on one truth I knew, the character of God and promises of His word:

  • He would never leave me or forsake me.
  • He is good.
  • He loves me. 
  • He is personal.
  • He is sovereign.
  • He is trustworthy.
  • He is not defined by my circumstances.

Do you need to know these truths?  As you seek Him in His word, you will find Him and his personal care for your situation.  Just as new life is pushing through the ground in the season of Spring, new growth and life are ready to burst through your situation even though the storms say, “Not Happening.” 

God does not change, just as the first day of Spring doesn’t change when there’s snow on the ground.  I challenge and encourage you to know Him in new ways that go down deep into your soul.   Shallow faith gets crushed when life’s storms come out of season.  But deep, trusting faith in His character is what sustains life when the dark, crushing elements invade your life.

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Spring is here and So is Jesus.

Neither change,  Both are constant. No matter what the weatherman says.

Where do you need to believe that truth?

Blessed is the one…..whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither….. Psalm 1:1-3 (portions) NIV

March Madness and MVP’s: It’s All in the Assists

It’s March Madness and I’m a Hoosier.  Every stereotype about Hoosier Hysteria lives in my hometown, in my own house.  I married Mr.  MVP, who comes from a family of basketball MVPs.  My babygirl received a basketball hoop for her first birthday.  No pressure.  My oldest two sons are shooting hoops these days.  And making assists.
leather basketball isolated on a white background

For those of you not-so-basketball-savy, an assist is a pass a player makes to the scoring shooter.  The shooter gets the glory.  The person assisting gets – a tallymark.

As a basketball mom, I’ve seen my kids learn a lot from the sport.  They’ve learned hard work and perseverance.  They’re not the leading scorer.  Recently, I watched one of them make several assists.   As I watched Junior pass the ball off to another teammate who scored, I was reminded he’s learning a valuable life skill.  A life skill I need to be reminded of, too.

In any sphere of life, there’s competition, envy, and longings.  We all dream of making that “winning shot” in our little corner of the world.  Even if we don’t want to be top-dog, it’s natural to desire recognition, achievement, success.

Making that winning shot and hearing the crowd roar = euphoria

But Michael Jordan, most of us are not.  Most of us aren’t the CEO, top salesperson, Teacher of the Year, or winner on The Voice.   Most of us assist those who reach the headlines or receive the yearly bonus.

After watching years of basketball, I’ve observed players making assists are selfless in the act.  Many of them have a perfect shot to make, but they pass it off, giving other players an opportunity not only to score for the team, but to put themselves on the boards.  To receive recognition.  To succeed.

God calls this act humility.

Definitions of humility include (dictionary.com)

  • not proud or arrogant; modest
  • having a feeling of insignificance
  • low in rank, importance, status
  • courteously, respectful

I’m challenged as I watch high school players pass off the ball to the star shooter.   I’m a sucker for the underdog.  I want that guy to shoot when he’s got a good shot.  But when I see him pass it off to a better player?  I see character.  I see selflessness.  I see humility.

I want that.  I’m never going to dominate the basketball court, but I can learn to assist in the areas where God has placed me.   Does is matter if I get the credit for an idea I originated?  How can I serve the leaders around me so they can excel in the areas God has gifted them?  How can I make the “teams” I am a part of a success?  Do I “pass off” tasks I do well so others can learn and grow, including my kids and husband?  Do I give others an opportunity to succeed?

These are challenging questions.  Christ calls this servanthood.  While it’s not natural for us to pass the ball off, submitting to His Spirit makes it easier, even desirable.

He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30  (NASV)

Where do you need for Him increase so you can serve and assist those around you?   Where do you rank in assisting others.  Is it easy for you to pass the success to others, or do you struggle with wanting to score big?  

It’s satisfying to watch plays happen, with players passing the ball to each other so the best player can make the strategic shot.  The managers keep track of contributions each player makes to the effort.   Basketball Team in HuddleThose tally marks speak loudly at the end of the season.    Often the tally marks make the Most Valuable Player the best all-around team member, not the best shooter.

I’m thankful that’s how God is, too.  He doesn’t just reward the most successful.   When no one else sees, He does, keeping tally of each act of service, each assist.  His rewards are eternal, reminding us we are building treasures in Heaven.

“But store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.”  Matthew 6:21-22 (NIV)

In the end, I’d rather be God’s MVP.

As long as I get a really, really big trophy.

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(how about you?)

PS – If your reading this before Monday, March 25, 8:00 AM EST, you can still enter the giveaway for Hannah’s Prayer by Kenneth Gividend.  Click here for more information.

God Loves You

This week I wrote about fear, depression, and the intimacy of God’s Word and posted at Not Alone Mom.   Read it if you need encouragement and a personal word of how much God loves you.

Woman Turning Off Alarm

This week as I drove back and forth to work, this song ministered to me over and over again as I processed some hard things. May it minister to you in some way today.

Romans 8:28 – Nothing can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

He loves you.

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The Notecard Series: Precious. Honored. Known

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The Notecard Series are posts based on old, spiral-bound notecards I wrote statements I needed in front of me at all times.  As a stay-at-home mom, they perched on a window sill above my kitchen sink.  As a teacher, they sat on my desk.  Some days, they were words to cling to.

This faded, warped notecard says,

I have called you by name you are mine. You are precious and honored in my sight.” Isaiah 43

As a young twenty-something, mom of two preschoolers, these words were gold to me.  To this day, these words sink deep into my soul.  I come back to them to when insecurities, doubt, fear, and angst enters my being.  When do you feel insecure, have doubts, are gripped by fear, or feel messed-up inside?

God calls you by name.  

You are precious and honored in His sight.

 You are His.  Rubber Stamp

There are days I feel fragile, hit hard from outside and within. Days my value is shredded because I look to others to define it.  Do you have days like that? Weeks like that?  A life like that?

It means a lot to hear the God of the universe say He has “called me by name.”  I used to hate my name because I didn’t like the person attached to it.  Most of my life I’ve been ashamed of who I am, of who God made me.   Yet these words tell me I’m precious and honored in the sight of Him who created me, and so are you.  Precious, honored and known.  

We are His.

When I think of precious and honored things, I think of fragile differently.  Precious is something highly esteemed and valued.  So is honor.  Humans desire this.  We spend our lives trying to receive it.

Like a thick, lush robe put on the shoulders of a king, with a crown of sparkling gems, so is God’s wardrobe of honor He wants to dress us in.  He created each of us full of faults yet highly valued.  He knows everything about us {the good, bad, and ugly} and He calls us tenderly by the name He has given us.

A precious name with honor. 

Has someone devalued, disrespected or shamed you? Has doubt or fear lied to you saying you are not worthwhile?

God’s Word has  something  to say about that.

You are precious and honored in His sight,

He has called you by name.

You are His. 

Receive the robe of honor and the crown of royalty because it is who you are,

A Child of the King.

Precious.  Honored.  Known.

Dear Father, will you pour the fullness of who we are in You into our body, soul, and spirit?  Will you help each one reading these words  know they are not a mistake, that their value and identity is in who You say they are, not others?  Will you call each one by name and meet their needs in a way that lets them know you precious and honored they are. Thank you for knowing each one of us by name.

Amen.

In Him,

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An honor from Ellie at http://newcreationsministries.wordpress.com/ for passing the Versatile Blogger Award my way.  She is committed to sharing healthy living at her site and she is a great encourager.  Thank you, Ellie.  Please stop by and visit her site.

This is an opportunity to share several blogs:the-versatile-blogger-award

These are just a handful of great blogs, there are many, many more. Encourage them by visiting if you get the chance.

The Cost

This is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us.  For God is greater than our hearts.  He knows everything.”  I John 3:19-20 (New International Version) 

This morning I’ve wasted time, in a stupor, mentally avoiding the things I need to do this week, a secret MP900443601rebellion against the stress of the life.  In the stillness of time with His Word, I am confronted not by distractions, but by overwhelming conviction and grace.

After reading Hebrews 10:5-10, I’m flooded with conviction, shame, and humility.  The passage speaks of the once and for all Sacrifice Jesus made so I can stand before a holy God.  This morning, the heaviness of what this means for me weighs on me.

I find it easier to accept Jesus’ death for “big sins,” but this morning I am confronted with the fact that the same sacrifice was made for deliberate, daily sins, ones often labeled “little sins.”  Of the lengthy list I could post, all are rooted in selfishness.  Something I’ve been keenly aware of in my own heart recently.

I’ve been reading I John lately.  It states that our heart condemns us before God, that He knows our motives (I John MP9003417123:16-24).  This shines a spotlight on my heart, and selfishness is the star. The heart does condemn. As I John 3:20 says, “God knows everything.”

Ouch.

But I deserve the pain.  I should feel the pain of using Jesus’ sacrifice for conditions such as selfishness. Selfishness in motives, in relationships, in “rights” that I want to justify.  They’re valid if I measured them against earthly standards saying, “There’s nothing wrong with that attitude – you deserve it!” But when I read Hebrews 10, I’m reminded that Jesus sacrificed all so I can have relationship with the Creator.  While He died for expensive sins, He also perished for cheap ones, like selfishness.  My selfishness is not worth someone else’s life.  Yet He paid it, in love.  No questions, no strings attached.

This humbles and convicts me.  Will I continue harboring selfishness at the cost of His life? He died so I may be holy in His sight.  Will I demand the privilege to use that costly payment for the “right” to be selfish?

I have unfinished business I need to attend to with a holy God before I continue with other business of the day.

I’m thankful I can go before the One who modeled unselfishness to the end.  It’s because of His sacrifice I can enter the presence of a loving, righteous God with a selfish, unclean heart.

Silhouettes of Three Crosses

That’s the gospel. No more words can be added. 

“Lord, Jesus, thank you for your costly birth and death.  Help each of us to weigh the heaviness of why you came and died.  May you transform our selfishness.”

Food, Hunger, and God

Satisfy: to gratify the expectations, needs or desires of. To fulfill a need or desire. To free from doubt or question.

As a recovered anorexic and bulimic, I pay attention to my body in order to live a healthy lifestyle without struggle or relapse. I take care of my emotional and spiritual health so I don’t use unhealthy behaviors to satisfy longings in my spirit when things are out of whack. Hunger, food, and physical activity need to be kept in delicate balance in my life.  Therefore, I listen to my body.

Macro of bamboo fountainOne side affect of being bulimic for many years is excessive thirst. When I’m not hydrated properly with water and other life-giving fluids, thirst distracts me from tasks at hand. I crave water and am not satisfied until I receive the replenishment it gives me.

That thirst is satisfied only with good things.

It’s the same with food. I eat minimal fried or processed foods and my body receives that well. Over the holidays, it’s harder to eat pristinely when eating out more and attending gatherings with a plethora of fat-induced foods. The other night I felt sick to my stomach from eating foods I normally stay away from. I was full but not satisfied.

Unwholesome foods did not satisfy, though they looked and tasted fabulous.

I’ve thought about our spiritual condition recently in instances of being thirsty and full with food, but not satisfied. How often are we hungry and thirsty for God but replace it with other things that aren’t good for us? We get our fill of them, but they don’t satisfy.

What do you satisfy your emotional and spiritual hungers with? For a period in my life it was food. Is it relationships? Success? Your partner? Control? Your kids? Material things? Technology? Beauty? Sports? A good reputation? Jobs well done? Enabling others? Food? Alcohol? Sex? Self-harm? Medication?

In my quest to live a healthy life physically, spiritually and emotionally, I’ve learned only an imitate relationship with the God who knows everything about me satisfies. Psalm 103 says He satisfies our desires with good things. I know this. He has taken the inner parts of my life and has filled them with himself in ways that draws me back to Him, His word, and His presence.

Nothing compares to Him and the way He satisfies.

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This hasn’t happened overnight. It took years of slowly releasing things to Him. But as I’ve traded insecurity, selfishness, fear and hurt with trust and obedience, old patterns have become like a Diet Coke to a parched mouth.

As much as it momentarily satisfies, it doesn’t quench, doesn’t replenish, doesn’t satisfy.

As you take time to reflect this holiday season, and approach a new year, will you reflect on your present hunger for God? Are there things in your life that satisfy more than Him? What do you run to when you are needy? What do you fill your mind, body, and spirit with that pulls you away from the goodness God wants to satisfy you with?

Receive this element of God’s character today as His gift to you. He wants to satisfy your soul with good things.

Try it. You’ll like it.

Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Psalm 103:1-5 NIV

Precious and Honored

On gray, cold, Fall days like today when my kids were little, I loved to have them sit on my lap under a blanket and read them stories.  They would snuggle close to my chest and we’d read book after book while rocking in a rocker.  We felt safe, secure, loved, and cared for.

Today as I entered the pages of Exodus, I felt like this as I read these words:

“Then mount four rows of precious stones…..carnelian, chrysolite, beyrl, turquoise, lapis, lazuli, emerald, jacinth, agate, amethyst, topaz, onyx and jasper. Mount them in gold filigree settings. There are to be twelve stones, one for the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved with like a seal.”

“Whenever Aaron enters the Holy Place, he will bear the names of the son of Israel over the heart as a continuing memorial before the Lord.”

As I sat in my own rocking chair, curled up in a blanket on a cold autumn day, the image of God taking beautiful stones, carving names of His precious children,  and strategically placing them over His heart blessed me.  I felt like a child curled in the lap of my caretaker, feeling secure, safe, loved, and cared for.

Come with me as we crawl into the lap of our High Priest.

The clothing God planned for His High Priest to wear included the placement of His children’s names written over the priest’s heart.  Each name was engraved in precious stones.  Each stone was different, but brilliant in color and composite. Engraved stones were mounted in an intricate, ornamental fitting made of gold.  When worn, these stones would rest securely over the heart of the wearer. A memorial the Lord said.  A reminder to the Lord and the High Priest that the names of these people were precious.  His children, placed closest to His heart.

I wonder if that’s how my children felt as toddlers and preschoolers curled up next to my heart with my arms wrapped around them.  Precious.  Honored. Chosen.

The same God that placed the names of His children close to the heart of the High Priest then, also places their names there today.  As children of the Most High God, He knows each of us.

“This is what the Lord says …. I have called you by name.  You are mine.” Isaiah 43:1

Some days I need to feel God’s favor.  Not just know it, but feel it….. needing to crawl into His lap like a small child and have His arms curl around me and say, You are precious and honored in my sight (Isaiah 43:4).  You are mine.”

I’m encouraged today by this picture of God engraving our names on precious stones.  Your name, your child’s name, your loved one’s name.  Beautifully scripted on a stone representing everything precious about you and your personality. Thoughtfully placed in beautiful, ornate settings of pure gold and fastened securely.  Then placed over His heart.  We can’t get any closer to Him than this.

The High Priest of Israel came into the Presence of God interceding for God’s children.  Jesus Christ is our High Priest today, continually interceding for us (Hebrews 7:25).  God sets us in a place of precious honor over Jesus’ heart as a continuing memorial before Him.

Needing to feel secure, loved and cared for?  You’re placed as precious stone over  Jesus’ heart, where He always intercedes for you.

Some days, I need this assurance.   I don’t always feel precious and honored in His sight.  All I need to do is  step out of my front door for reminders of how unlovely and sinful I am.   My kids and husband remind me.  On a typical day in the Yoder house, they don’t walk around hailing me as precious and honored.

What a blessing and promise we have that God’s favor and care isn’t dependent on our humanness.  The Isrealites had the Presence of God over them day and night and they messed up minute after minute.  Yet God still placed them in a place of honor over His heart.  As He does for you and me. We are His.

If you’re needing Jesus as Caretaker today, one whose lap you can curl up into, know He’s picked you up, placed you gently in his arms, and is reminding you that you are close to His heart.   No matter what you’re experiencing, your name is engraved and firmly held in place where His love radiates eternally.  It never ends.  His Son, your High Priest, is interceding every moment for you.

My prayer for each of you today is that you’ll feel safe, secure, loved, and cared for by your Heavenly Father even when the weather and people around you are cold and gray.  You’re securely placed over the breast-place of His heart.

He’s even holding you now, singing “Jesus Love Me“,

can’t you hear him? 

The rest of the song goes like this,

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;  and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned.  The flames will not set you ablaze.  For I am the Lord for God.  Since you are precious and honored in my sight, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life. Do not be afraid for I am with you.”  Isaiah 4

Lord Jesus, thank you that your Word never fails, that it is living and active.  Thank you for this image of being placed over your heart.  Thank you that you know each of our names and you honor and esteem each of us with an unfailing, never ending love.  Thank you that Your Son is interceding for us each moment, that we are never out of your thoughts or prayers.  Dear Jesus, hold closely today those who need to feel your safe, secure, and loving arms.  Thank you for caring for our every need.  Amen.

My Other Love

Lots of things on my list today.                                                                                        

I need to….. do the laundry, unload the dishwasher, and send emails to people at work.

I should….. exercise, renew my teaching license, and do things I’m putting off.

but more than anything, I want to spend time with God.

Over the years,
I’ve developed a love affair
with the Word of God.

It started at fifteen when I read a translation of scripture that made God personal to me when an eating disorder consumed my mind, body, and spirit.

At seventeen, His word became alive to me when victory overcome temptation for the first time in that compulsive, addictive behavior. God provided a way out for me just like He promised (1Corinthians 10:13).

As a college student, His Word convicted me that while everything was permissible, not everything was beneficial, and I chose to give up sin I was living in (1 Corinthians 10:23).

As a young mom struggling with post-pardom depression, I learned God cared about my struggle to just get through the day (Psalm 142).

When depression was compounded with grief, I learned God saw my tears, recording each one of them (Psalm 56:8)

When fearful of leaving my children when going back to work, His Word assured me He would supply all of our needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:19).

As a parent struggling with anger, frustration, and a rebellious child, God promised me over and over again He would repay the years the locusts have eaten (Joel 2:25).

When sitting with a colleague dying of a brain tumor, His word became a balm to her dying body, as she accepted Christ as her Savior in the bed of a nursing home.

I can list other times when His word has been living and active, sharper than a double-edged sword, laying bare all things before the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account (Hebrews 4:12). I’ve been laid bare more times than I care to remember.

At this point in my life,
I’ve learned nothing satisfies
like the Word of the Living God.

In times of peace,
it nourishes and strengthens.

In times of pain,
it heals and gives hope.

In times of drought,
it brings life.

In the days and weeks to come,
I encourage you spend time,
any time,
in the life-giving Word of God.

Don’t set yourself up for the ideal
because you’ll get frustrated and quit.
Find the time that works for you.

On the treadmill while exercising
On your smartphone while
waiting for a ball game or meeting
On your Ipad in a place
where you are alone
On a CD or Ipod while in the car
With the real deal
At your desk ten minutes before
the kids come in the classroom
or the store is about to open

For me in this season,
it’s with a cup of coffee
on the mornings I’m not at school.

For you, it’ll look different.

I challenge you to fast from other books right now, going straight to the Author who knows what you need more than anyone else.

Time with Him is unlike any other.

Lord, Jesus, help us to run to you and your Word, seeking your life-giving truth that leaves us hungering for more. As a deer pants for water, cause our souls to thirst for you. Amen.