Lately I have felt far away from God. Sometimes He seems so close that I can almost touch Him, other times the silence is deafening. This time, a month, then two went by, and I hardly heard His voice, rarely felt His presence.
Not that He wasn’t there, He was. He is. But He just feels more like a whisper than a wind.
My morning prayer time felt more like I was putting in my time than a relationship. I literally had days where I showed up for prayer time and said, “Here I am God. I know you are going to be silent again today, and I don’t know why. But still I will come to you in the morning and pray because you are God.”
One day I got mad, and said “I don’t know why I even bother to show up for prayer because I am just not hearing you. I don’t know what is that is keeping me from hearing your voice! If I committed some big sin, then just show me already.” I was answered with silence.
I didn’t pray much that week, blaming it on illness and needing extra sleep. But in reality, I was just plain mad. And when I dug deeper, I knew why.
I was mad because a friend of mine who had been trying to get pregnant for a long time finally did. What joy!
And then 20 weeks later she suffered a miscarriage. I just did not understand why. Why them? They are such good people. They love Jesus. They have suffered so much already, and it is just not fair. Why would you bless them and then take it away? I just did not understand.
I still don’t understand.
When I went through my own miscarriage three years ago, the Lord showed me that “sometimes it just is, and we don’t get to know why. That’s what makes it trust.” Just as that was true then, it is still true today.
That’s when the 3030 Challenge came along.
I admit I ignored it the first few times I saw the invitation pop up on Facebook. For those who have read my blog for awhile, you know that I love Joyce Meyer. She is challenging her viewers to take the 3030 Challenge, which is to study the Bible for 30 minutes for 30 days.
But I ignored the invitation, making excuses. That isn’t for me. That’s for the people who don’t already pray. I mean, I already read the Bible most days.
Yet the silence was deafening.
So I picked up my Bible and started to study. At first flipping here and there, not sure where to begin, until I heard a whisper “Isaiah”. As I turned to read, I felt a PEACE wash over my soul. Ah, peace.
* * *
Studying the Bible is different than reading it. How many times do you read something and then walk away without remembering anything? That’s reading, not studying.
Studying the Bible isn’t just for someone with a Master’s degree in Theology, in fact, you can study the Bible without a college degree at all! Some books that I love to study are the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. Other favorites are the “-ians”, as in Colossians, Galatians and Ephesians.
Read a sentence or two. Stop, repeat it in your mind, maybe even aloud. Let the words enter your soul. If something strikes you, write it down in a notebook. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you read. You might only get through a few verses some days, and then other days you might plow through a few chapters. That’s okay, this isn’t a race.
So how about it? I dare you to take the 3030 Challenge and see if it doesn’t change you. Worried that you might not do it everyday? That’s okay, perfection was never the goal. Need some help getting started? Check out the website: http://3030challenge.joycemeyer.org/