Friday, February 16, 2007

Finally reading

Posted by Mandy at 3:04 PM
In small group we've been discussing what we do at home as a family to learn more or to praise God. I've been disappointed with myself each week when yet another week goes by and my efforts have been minimal at best. It hit me harder this week than ever. For the first time, in an extremely long time, I felt convicted about my lack of study of my Bible, and I became very aware that I was not only allowing myself to miss out on the closest relationship to God I could have, but I was taking that experience away from my children as well. So, today, I sat down and prayed and asked God to point me to something in the Bible that I would WANT to read. Something that would shake me up a bit.. get me excited about him again. After looking around for a bit I got to the book of Matthew. While I like it it's never been one that grabbed me and made me want to sit and read it, until today. We're all probably very familiar with a lot of Matthew... it's definitely a book I've heard preached from numerous times. I read this today though and plan to read it and discuss it with the kids this evening:

Matthew 5:6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled."

I've read this passage a million times in the past, but today it meant something to me. I've felt a distance between God and me for the past few years. The distance grew greater and greater when we had our struggle to become pregnant this time. Rather than drawing closer to God when I needed him most, I became angry and bitter at what he was "allowing" me to go through both physically and mentally. I refused to try to see the good in it... even though looking back, I can see it now. I spent a lot of time wishing I would just be "filled" with God, yet I had no desire to do anything to seek him out. I wanted to be joyful in Christ, but after reading this verse I realize that I just wasn't really "hungry" and "thirsty" for him. If I would've truly been looking to have my hunger and thirst for God satisfied, he would have done that for me. I was content to be heartbroken during that year, when I could have been much more joyful had I reached out to God for strength instead. (Why do I always do things the hard way?) A verse a few verses down also touched me:

Matthew 5:13 - "You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men."

I wonder how much value I was to God during my times of "long suffering." I still made good moral choices in life, I still tried to support those around me, but deep inside I was still lacking that God filled joy... and whether I tried my best to hide that or not, it had to effect many things around me. My goal is not to lose my "saltiness" again. That isn't always easy, but it's a good goal for me! We Christians should stand out, we should have that "flavor" that others lack and they see in us and they want it. If we're low and dull and easy to be defeated, no one will want whatever we have. I'm so thankful that God led me to this small group, that he has used as a tool to spark something in me that's been needing sparked for a long while. I feel so good right now. Just reading my Bible for a few short minutes has made such a difference in everything I'm thinking and feeling tonight. I pray that I can continue with this with determination each day from here on out.


K.T. on Friday, 16 February, 2007 said...

I have been reading the bible myself,but I started from the beginning...I decided that I would every year from now on,I am at Judges....Believe it or not-this will be the first time for me to read it all the way through.Great going...You will have to write more about this small group...LOL.Keep it up sista!

Brandy on Friday, 16 February, 2007 said...

i have been praying for you....that you would not only hunger for His word, but find satisfaction from it, too. funny how you read that particular verse today. i'm so excited about your renewed desire to dig into god's word. it encourages me, and others as well, to do the same....and that's the wonderful thing about the bible. that's how you know it's's alive, it becomes what we breathe and what we desire more of. god will answer your prayer and close the gap you feel between you if you continue to seek. thanks for being so transparent and sharing your battle with becoming more christ-like.

Lee Ann James on Friday, 16 February, 2007 said...

Mandy, you never fail to inspire me. I'm so glad that God led us to be your friends! Let me know if I can do anything to help, or if you just need to talk about it! We should get a study going with a few of us gals...maybe a Beth Moore one like we were talking about the other night. It would be fun. Even if it were just the two of us. What do you think? Love you girl!

Mandy on Friday, 16 February, 2007 said...

LA that would be great as long as it isn't crazy deep and involved as I have an incredibly hard time focusing on anything for very long! lol (and the time issue... you know how that goes!) I bet someone has one already they've already done we could just borrow too! :)

Suzanne on Saturday, 17 February, 2007 said...

oh, mandy - that makes me very excited for you and miss you so much more. i want to be there. i too, have lost my hunger lately (i think i should post on it...) and it's so convicting. i love those verses - matthew was one of my all-time favorites when i first became a christian.

keep posting on this - i want to hear more and i'll try to answer back - maybe we can keep each other accountable!

T J on Sunday, 18 February, 2007 said...

I am more like this than I am sometimes willing to admitt. I try to stay close but before I realize it my life gets too busy for me to maintain, but isn't God awesome in that when we find ourselves all alone, we turn around and He was right there the entire time.

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