Women. We are used to multi-tasking. Having our minds and lives firing in 5 or more different directions all at the same time. When we find ourselves on overload, what do we tend to do, and do well? We criticize ourselves. I am reminded of a time when I sat amongst a small group of gals in a bible study setting. In that discussion time, we were sharing our goals for the study. There was a mother of ‘4’ (FOUR!) small, YOUNG, needing her attention, children. In her frustration and complete weariness, she shared in depth about not having ‘enough’ time for devotions and her bible study. She was exhausted, felt defeated, and was basically giving up, to where she hadn’t opened her Bible in some time. Those in the group kept trying to help with creative ways to carve out enough time. “Go to bed earlier, get up earlier, use paper plates, when they sleep ….” This young mom was nearly in tears. I just sat and listened. These are all good disciplined goals, yet they were more worried about the quantity of time, rather than the quality.
I finally leaned forward and looked the gal in the eyes, lovingly and tenderly asking, “Could you look at maybe just ONE verse each day or one verse for the whole week?” She stopped talking. So did the others. Silence. Reading their expressions, yet not verbalizing – “This gal is NUTS! One stinkin verse? THAT is NOT enough! I will get behind! I have to get through that one-year reading plan, gotta get my homework done! Gotta write in my journal.” This attitude belongs to many of us. How many of us too, feel defeated and allow our God time to slip, slip away because we can’t keep up with the ‘quota’.
I then shared that it’s not the quantity of time with God and His word that is important, it is the quality. If you have just enough time to read one verse, then the baby cries, or the dog is having a fit at the front door or milk is split (so goes life). Then take that ONE verse, WHILE you are cleaning up the milk – holding the crying baby, ask Holy Spirit to speak to YOU about that verse. You, God, His word … quality time. Listen – listen for HIS application, throughout the day, throughout the week. If need be at the beginning of the week, jot down that verse on a 3×5 card, tape it to the mirror in the bathroom, even though you may have a parade of offspring following you in there, READ it aloud. Again and again.
Don’t get me wrong I am ALL OVER Bible study, BUT there are seasons, seasons when time captures us. Seasons even with discipline … our life, our arms are full. The Pastor wrote; “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12) Allow the ‘alive word’ to minister to YOU! Remember, God spoke the universe into place with His word, He can decorate your heart with the same. One verse? Enough? Yes, yes it is with the Holy Spirit ‘leading you into all truth.’ (Jn 16:13)
During that moment of silence with the gals, I shared I once spent days just on Thomas’s “… my Lord and my God” (Jn. 20:28). Knowing the context, I thought about it, I said it, I pictured it and I prayed it. Just 5 words -it was amazing. The gals just sat there and stared at me. (I was shocked that they allowed me to sit at their table the following week).
God knows us, knows our heart. For those of us whose season doesn’t allow for hours or minutes of ‘head in the book’ sessions, don’t stress! Don’t feel condemned, if we can give Him just ONE verse, HIS word, He can and will minister to us. It can be amazing.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” – Hebrew 10:24)