Having coffee with Jesus every day
It's amazing, how many things get done in a short period of time. A little over 2 weeks ago I shared how I was having a lot of anxiety about my son being away from us for another 2 weeks. Prompted by that, I started going through the BibleGateway.com study of reading through the Bible in 90 days.
I cannot even tell you the difference that has made. It takes an average of 45 minutes a day to complete the assigned readings. Sometimes I forget until late at night but I know I have to get it done or it will take me so much extra time the next day! I felt such a peace since once I started. I can only attribute that to the fact that when you are reading the Bible, it's like having coffee with Jesus and He fills your Spirit up with the "peace that passes understanding". It is definitely beyond MY understanding - I tend to be high energy, wanting to control situations and worrying way too much about them. But letting go and letting God handle it has been so comforting.
One of the most interesting things for me during this time is getting little snippets of God's personality revealed. I so wish I could hear His tone of voice sometimes. In the Old Testament, I saw anger, compassion, forgiveness and what surprised me a little bit and made me laugh out loud, SARCASM....blatant sarcasm.
Check this out - Jeremiah 34:17
"Therefore this is what the LORD says: You have not obeyed me; you have not proclaimed freedom to your own people. So I now proclaim 'freedom' for you, declares the LORD--'freedom' to fall by the sword, plague and famine. I will make you abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth.
Um, air quotes anyone?? God was using air quotes before it was cool. I laughed out loud when I read that and had to share it with my husband.
Then in the new testament, I see Jesus having extreme compassion, anger towards the Pharisees and dare I say it - annoyance/frustration with his disciples! How many times did He say "You of little faith", or "do you not yet understand?" to his followers. Like. "Come ON guys, don't you get it yet? ugh." This is why I wish I could hear Jesus's tone. Maybe he was extremely patient and gentle. But I get the feeling that occasionally He got super frustrated with everyone and just laid it out for them in layman's terms.
Again, I see sarcasm/anger/frustration when speaks to the Pharisees. Matthew 12:9-13
"Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus."
I can only hear in modern day language - "seriously you guys? You would grab your cat out of a tree if it was stuck on a Sunday right? And you are trying to accuse me of sinning because I heal someone from cancer??? Get a grip."
One of the things I'm really enjoying about this process besides getting to see God's personality, is reading these huge chunks of scripture at one time. In the Old Testament there is a lot of repetition when you come to the prophecies, and yes sometimes it got really boring, but oh my goodness how applicable it is to what is happening right now in the Middle East. It was incredible timing as I was reading about God's promises to Israel and His promise of destruction for nations that come against her. Then there is a lot of history - incredible glimpses and details into the past and the future.
Beyond just the information though, is the sense of peace I have had. I'm thankful to have decided to start this process and I'm enjoying my way through it!