James 1:25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.
It's funny how we feel like we have to be perfect at something before we can begin to experience it. I still haven't been water-skiing because I am afraid I will make a fool of myself. I watch people do it and think, “Wow, how amazing!” Then I immediately think, “I'd totally fall and look ridiculous! I'll never do that.” How much am I missing out on?
The funny thing is, there are a few areas where I don't do this. I don't feel like I have to be a top chef to appreciate a good chocolate dessert. I take a bite, savor it and go back for another. I find joy (perhaps too much) in a good chocolate dessert. Likewise, I don't feel like I have to be Mozart to enjoy music. There are certain types of music that can calm me, energize me or just fill me with joy. Music makes me feel alive.
I think for most people, studying God's word is like water-skiing is for me. It feels like, “I've never done it, I don't know enough, it's too big a challenge.” I have to tell you, I think it can be more like music. Knowing God's word can be a calming, energizing or joyful experience. Many of us don't know how to find a passage chapter and verse in the Bible, but we know the general idea and draw on it in difficult times. We appreciate the music, even if we don't know the notes.
The thing is, the more familiar we become with the Bible, the more deeply we appreciate it. Like a symphony, when we can identify an individual instrument, or recognize a particular movement, we feel more connected. We begin to hum the tunes throughout the day. That's what God wants us to do with the Bible. He wants us to become familiar with it, so that when we need a reminder during the day, his word jumps from our heart into our head. The way to get there is through listening and reading. You don't memorize a song in one sitting, nor can you internalize God's word in one reading. You need to absorb it, ingest it and let it take hold of your heart. Only then will it become the background music of your day. Only then will it seep out like a song you begin to hum in the
Thank you for giving us the Bible to guide us and sustain us until we can join you. Help us to overcome our fears of not knowing enough so that we can know you more. You are a very personal God. You communicate with us on so many levels and for that we are grateful. Help us to absorb your word so that it becomes the symphony of our lives.
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