At the beginning of summer, I tried to set up a friendly, reading competition with my oldest boy. I wanted to keep his mind sharp and his nose in a book throughout the summer, so he would be ready for third grade this Fall. We were going to see who could read a book a week for the duration of his summer break. There would be 9 weeks, with us taking a week off for our vacation. His books average 100 pages and mine are a couple hundred more than his. It seemed like a fair competition.
The only problem is that my boy HATES to read. It is like pulling teeth to get him to do it.
This week alone, he is supposed to read Chapter 4. It’s 22 pages. How long can that take him?!
But he has put it off and put it off.
And now. He has consequences.
No tablet. No TV.
Until his book is read.
And for an 8-year old, it’s the end of the world. And basically, the end of the world for my husband and I, too, because now our parenting really gets tested.
As his Momma, I have been SO frustrated with him. “Just stop whining and pick up your book and READ.” “Just do it.”
And then the Holy Spirit gently pricks my heart.
I’m the same way.
When it comes to my Bible reading and time alone with God, I put it off and put it off. I let myself become distracted with everything else that I push my Bible reading to the side and don’t do it. I want to do SO many other things, than sit and read my Bible.
Why is that?
- I’m tired.
- I’ve made other things a priority over my quiet time with the Lord.
- I don’t love God’s Word.
- I’m a sinner.
The truth is, we can’t live our lives for ourselves without consequences.
Same for my boy. Same for me.
My boy has lost his tablet and TV time. I’ve lost my peace and joy and strength that comes from being in God’s Word. My brain is mushy, and I get emotional. I don’t have right perspective on my circumstances or God’s character. I look to other things to bring satisfaction when my soul will only be filled through God and His Word.
Spending time with the Lord is a choice. Same as my boy has a choice to obey or not, so do I.
In the summer Bible study, Firmly Rooted, with Susan Black, she said, “being in God’s Word is like a marriage- there are not always fireworks, but we don’t pull away.”
Pastor Aaron prayed during our Leadership Meeting this week, “help us to fulfill our duties until our duties become joyful.”
Being in God’s Word often feels like a duty. There are not always fireworks or big “Ahh-ha!” moments. But let’s not pull back. Let’s continue in our duty until our duty becomes our joy!
The beautiful part is that God is our Everlasting Father. And unlike me, He is patient and long-suffering with us. He doesn’t grow tired or weary. He continues to work in our hearts to grow us and shape us into His image. Just as I feel like I’m planting seeds in a hurricane as I parent my boy, the same is true for God in my life- He’s planting seeds in the hurricane of my life.
If this is for you, if you are struggling to be in God’s Word- you’re not alone. I’m there with you. But it’s not okay. We’ve got to make the hard choice. Carve out time. Make God’s Word a priority. Let’s confess our sin to the Lord and safe people in our lives. Let’s invite others to hold us accountable. Let’s get into His Word and allow it to work in our lives.
Maybe I need no Instagram until my time in the Word. What about you?