Sunday, September 26, 2010

I Really Knew God...and Then I Read the Bible

I'm home on a Sunday morning and it really feels wrong. Sophie has strep so we are out yet another Sunday. We were at the lake last weekend as Taylor was resting between his two weeks of classes. Sophie and I will be out the next 2 Sundays due to traveling. I really miss being with my church family. Church is such a part of who I am. Evidently we've passed that on to Sophie. She gets really worried when we are gone on a Sunday and not at church. I remember when we were traveling on a Sunday once she asked if we were going to stop and go to church somewhere. When we said no she said, "But it's Sunday. Is it okay not to go to church on Sunday?" We told her it wasn't the best, but sometimes it just happens. Perhaps my little girl has a greater grasp on our calling than we do. I at least share her anxiety over not meeting together with other believers on a Sunday morning.
Just as church has always been a part of my life, so has the Bible (thanks, Mom and Dad). I've heard more sermons, Bible studies, and devotionals than I could begin to count. I've even attempted to read the Bible through a few times. I never make it through the Old Testament. I tend to camp out in the New Testament anyway. I'm much more comfortable with Jesus than I am with that "other" God who tells His people to wipe out cities, including children.
Since I have always failed to read the Bible all the way through I was excited when our church decided to read the Bible in 90 days. We read 12 pages a day and while that is a lot it helps you get through it quicker and keep up with the story as a whole. All of our Sunday school lessons, sermons, and Wednesday night lessons (even for the kids) has been over the week's readings. I have really enjoyed doing this. For the first time in my life Bible reading has consumed my days. I usually read 3-4 books in a month, but since we started this in Aug. there has been no extra reading. My 90 Day Bible (on my Nook) is always with me. I read it while JC is in speech and Sophie is in ballet. I read it in the pickup line (when the car is stopped). I read during lunch, while I'm blow drying my hair, any free minute I have. It does keep God's Word on my mind at all times.
And yet I haven't found that Word to be totally uplifting yet. I've found it to be confusing. I've found myself getting angry over some of God's actions. I've found myself guilty of using verses out of their contexts over the years. And to be honest, I've found myself doubting. Do I really believe this stuff? It is bizarre! My Sunday school answer is Yes! I would never doubt God's Word. But I do at times. I find that this God I claim to know and love seems out of character, sometimes mean, sometimes wishy washy, never predictable.
The old saying, "Lord I believe, only help my unbelief" has been on my mind a lot lately. Andrew Peterson says, "Faith is a burden, it's a weight we bear." Reading the Bible through has brought somewhat of a crisis in my faith. But I'm hanging in there because I know Jesus is right around the corner. If reading the Old Testament has taught me nothing else, I do see how much we needed (and need) Him. So be careful reading the Bible...it might shake your faith a little, but maybe we'll all come out stronger in the end.

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