I have for a while now liked to look at the scriptures as word written to me. Maybe that's a little narcissistic, but that's how I feel. The Bible is God's one tried and true method of speaking directly to me. I do believe He could use other ways if He so deemed it necessary, but the Bible is the one continuous flow of teaching, conversation, and advice He has for all of us. Maybe that's why I love to read the Bible. It's new every time I read it. I find things each time I've never seen before. When I am feeling especially studious, I read the little entries about the historical things that were occurring and the back story to the passages, and then I really find new meaning. It's literally a living word to me - moving, shifting, changing, and growing in me every time I read it.
I have been challenged by the Word lately. About a month ago, I was skimming through my Bible looking through the things I had highlighted, and I decided I should read Galatians. Don't know why I settled on that particular book of the New Testament, but I did. No surprise to me, it was the exact word I needed at that particular moment. In reading the fifth chapter, I felt a conviction on my heart to change some things in my life. It's a feeling and a desire I've had before, but I had never really felt convicted of it. I read the words, I understood what they meant, and I felt utterly compelled to make some personal changes. And I am. And I am feeling good about those things.
Then yesterday, I found myself reading in Isaiah. Now, I have never read the entire book of Isaiah, and it's always been a book that has scared me for one reason or another. But I found myself there, and I know full well why. This is what I found:
Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
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, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior...
Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give men in exchange for you,
and people in exchange for your life.
Do not be afraid, for I am with you...
Bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the ends of the earth -
everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.
Isaiah 43: 2 - 7
Wow. I don't know if it will affect you the way it affected me, but I just had to share. I just love it how He thinks I am precious and honored in his sight. That's amazing to me. Cause see, God knows everything I've ever done, and a lot of that stuff hasn't been precious or honorable. Yet He sees past it all somehow. And that just amazes me. Utterly amazes me. And I like it how He says that I should never have fear because I am his. See that's the stinking message I got from the Little Golden Book the other day, so you just can't tell me that He's not moving and working in my heart right now. That He's not planting little seeds all around me - little surprises that will emerge from the dirt at just the right moment when I am ready to receive them. I also like how I'm reminded that there will be fire and rushing water. That's life, and there's no way to avoid all that, but He has promised that I will not be burned and will not be overcome. So that's where I am right now - for the first time in my life beginning to get a grasp of God's unbelievably big love for me. Bigger than the love I feel for my own children. Bigger than any love I could ever comprehend. And I am amazed. And compelled to find out just what He needs me to do while I'm here.