This year, for the first time, I am reading through the Bible in a year with a group of friends. We read and we share what God is showing us through His Word by email. I love it, because for each of us God’s Word is unique and different. Our foundation for life’s instructions is the same–it is the Bible. But God interacts in each of our lives uniquely and differently. If you have been a Christian for any length of time, you most likely have heard the phrase, “God’s Word is alive and active today!” How can words on paper, written by man, be alive and active; doesn’t make sense does it? The Bible may have been written by man, but the Words they wrote were guided and inspired by the Holy Spirit–God’s Spirit. So, man only wrote, in essence, what God told them to write. God’s Word is alive because it speaks to us individually. Six people can read the same passage of Scripture, and it is most likely that all 6 will be inspired by something different from that same passage.
Let me give you an example. The reading for the other day in our study group was 2 chapters in the book of Numbers, chapters 33-34. Chapter 33 is a recordation of the Israelites (God’s children) travels through the desert. To be honest, it isn’t a real exciting read; it is a lot of they went here, they stopped here, and then they went here. But, as I began to read that morning, I was struck by the wording at the very first of the chapter. Here is what I wrote to my the group regarding this passage: “I love how the NIV version of the Bible records the Israelites journeys; it says, ‘Here are the stages in the journey.’ Seven little words out of a whole chapter, and yet they were powerful and had meaning for me today. Why? Because, like the Israelites, I am on a journey with God; and just like the Israelites, I have stages in that journey. The important thing is, no matter the stage I am in, who is at the helm? Is it me? Or is it God?”
I am, well let’s just say, a wee tiny bit past middle age, and therefore I have experienced a few stages in my journey thus far; most likely with more to come. With each new curve or bend in the road, there is new uncharted territory that God and I will journey together. I look forward to the journey ahead (that hasn’t always been the case; more on that at a later date) and I wait with a sense of excitement and anticipation for how God will speak to me and how God will use what I learn to make a difference in the life of someone else–or in my very own life. Lest you think I have arrived, I have not! Like the Israelites, there have been times of disobedience and great trials, and there have been times of great blessing and joy as well. And… there will be all those times again.
Some of you may be asking, “How can you look forward to a life that may be filled with not so good stuff; a life that may be filled with sorrow, loss, great pain–both physical and mental?” “If you had my life you wouldn’t be so full of anticipation; you would simply want it to end.” May I just say to you, “I have been there; I understand.” The reason, the only reason, I can look to the future with anticipation is- – – God. I can’t imagine doing life without God at my side. He has been so faithful to His Word and He has created some pretty good stuff out of some pretty rough clay–me, my being, the essence of Sandra, being the clay and He, God, being the molder and designer of the final product. The very things in my life that cause hurt, the very things that challenge me, the very things that I would prefer not to experience, are the very things God uses to bring about the desired result.
We are all on a journey with God. We all experience times of disobedience, trials, sorrow and yucky stuff. We all experience times of peace, contentment and joy. We all have stages where life is good and stages where life is not so good. Like me the same holds true for you – the important thing is – no matter the stage you are in – Who is at the helm? Who is in the driver’s seat? Is it you–or is it God?
If you would like to join the Bible reading group, or have questions regarding the group; or simply would like to know how it works, please send an email. We would love to have you join us.
I love to hear from you, my readers. Please feel free to leave a comment.
Until next time Be encouraged. Sandra