I had just sat down after performing our nightly gymnastics of putting our three children to bed. Between pajamas, teeth, stories, and a sudden need to ask every question known to man, this routine always leaves my husband and I exhausted. The sounds of our two oldest talking made me anticipate several more trips back to settle critical arguments about Thomas the train or to revive them from near dehydration.
Still, I tried to be productive and open up my Bible for my daily reading.
That New Year I had committed to studying the Bible through a reading plan which chronologically progressed through the Old Testament while including New Testament passages each day.
I won’t lie, I wasn’t very eager to read that night.
I had spent the last several weeks chugging along through Leviticus, and the task was proving much harder than I imagined. The laws were very detailed and everything seemed repetitive. I was growing a little tired of reading about sprinklings, ceremonies, buckets of blood, and the burning of animal flesh.
I finished my Old Testament reading and leafed my way to the second half of the Bible to pick back up in Hebrews. As I started to read, my rhythm slowed and the chatter of my children faded from my attention. Each phrase passed before my eyes, and I eagerly waited with anticipation to find out what would come next.
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:19-22)
I had heard these words so many times, but that night it was as if they were brand new. All those rules and offerings of Leviticus were no longer just parts of history, but in that moment they were my history. I marveled as if I were a Jewish woman sitting in that gathering hearing these words for the first time and feeling incredible hope. With a deeper joy, I marveled at the truth that Jesus’s sacrifice was complete, eternal, and final.
While I was caught off guard that evening, God was not surprised. God tells us that Scripture is living and active (Hebrews 4:12). When we open up the Word of God to read, to study, and to learn, we open a living book. A book where every page tells of our glorious God and proclaims the beauty of Jesus. A book that is accessible to us, whether we never attended school, or whether we have a Ph.D. – because of the active work of the Holy Spirit guiding us.
The trouble is, we often want great emotional realizations every time we open the Bible. In reality, God is using every piece of our study to slowly deepen our understanding and knowledge of Him. Isaiah 55:11 tells us that God’s Word shall not return empty, but it will succeed in accomplishing His purpose.
Even as we labor through the passages that don’t seem to make sense, the ones that are difficult, or the parts that just seem boring – God is working.
He’s taking each day of reading and building it, block upon block, until one day our eyes are opened to something we never saw right in front of us. Sisters, let’s dig deep through those difficult passages and difficult days. Each word is precious, each word is purposeful, and our great God is working in our hearts and minds through each one of His words.