Friday, November 21, 2008

Why Read?

A while back (almost 2 years ago), I was talking to some friends of mine whom I love, respect, and cherish. We have different views on many things, but we do a good job of trying to understand each other. Anyway, we were talking about reading and book studies. They asked if Biblestudy was kind of like reading and discussing the same book over and over again. I said yes, because it is, but I neglected to mention it's impact.

When reading a book for a second or third time, you usually see some parts of it as new because you are reading with a new perspective, maybe due to a new life stage or new emotional circumstances. Whatever the cause, you gain insight into the characters or plot or emotional content of the book. And you may even learn something about yourself, possibly applying lessons the character learned the hard way.

Similarly, when reading the Bible again & again, great lessons can be learned. When I read, I gain new insight into the meaning of a passage or how that passage applies to my life. When gaining new understanding and new perspective, I have a choice. I can allow God to change me by applying what I've read or I can ignore it, usually realizing later that I should NOT have ignored it.

As I said in an earlier post, " I am a much better mommy when I spend some time getting perspective," meaning eternal perspective. I am a better mother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend when I see the eternal perspective that is laid out for me in scripture. The day to day worries, the "large" heart aches, the overwhelming "to do" list, the sensitive feelings, and the scary trials(such as this summer for me), all seem to be abated with the knowlege that God is good, He is in control, He made me, He knows me, and He loves me enough to send His only son to die for me. I'm not sure where my hope would come from if I wasn't grounded in those truths.

I don't always understand why things happen the way they do.* I don't understand why there is so much hurt and suffering or why God allows it. But I do know that He is good. I can easily forget, and this is why I read the Bible over and over again. I need to be reminded. I can do nothing well without His strength and His unconditional love for me.

*Our pastor did a couple of series that answered a lot of questions for me. One called "Why?" from March-May of 2004, and one called "What if the Skeptics are Right" from April & May of 2005. There have been others, but these just stand out in my mind this morning.

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