Getting into The Bible
Though I grew up in a faith (Catholic), I've never actually studied the Bible. I'm not sure I even realized the readings during a Catholic mass were from the Bible. Now that I'm reading it, I'm wishing I would have picked it up sooner! This is good stuff!
I started a 52 week Bible reading plan but quickly scrapped that in favor of using the concordance to read about things like hope, perseverance, and faith. In the past two weeks, I started reading the Book of James. It's five short chapters and I keep re-reading it because it has so much relevance for this time in my life. It covers Trials and Temptations, Listening and Doing, Faith and Deeds, Taming the Tongue, Two Kinds of Wisdom, Submitting to God, and The Prayer of Faith.
A Just in Time Message from God
I don't know why I started reading James. I think I just opened the Bible to the book one day and started reading or maybe it was something in the concordance that directed me to it. Maybe the Holy Spirit intervened because God knew these are the words I needed to hear now. Take for example James 1:2-4 2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
If I think about the trials in my life, most notably the recent miscarriage (and yes, that might be the very first time any of you are hearing about it; I've come to a point I can openly share this deeply personal loss), I realize that it's during those times I lean most heavily on God.
I read somewhere that God does not cause terrible tragedies but that He can work incredible good out of them. So that's what I think he is doing in my life. Through the miscarriage, I've come closer to God and closer to peace than I ever have been. And had it not been for the miscarriage, I would not be going to Colombia this summer, and I would not be writing about the trip and sharing my spiritual journey so publicly.
I find it amazing that in the same book I read about perseverance and find so much personal relevance and comfort that this verse appears: Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:27)
I feel like God just tied a neat little bow on this book and handed it to me and said, "Go to Colombia."
By the way, here's the Day 3 video from Open Arms: