We all know there are those out there who absolutely love reading and those who despise it. Well friends, if you’re anything like me, you hate reading. The worst words you can hear come out of a professor’s mouth are “read pages —- through —- before next class.” I often felt guilty because this hatred toward reading frequently spilled over into my spiritual life. I only used to read my Bible because Jesus wanted me to. Let me tell ya, I was not in the Word nowhere near as often as I needed to be. Satan kept reiterating my hatred for reading, telling me constant lies.
I always felt like I couldn’t understand for myself what was trying to be said in the particular passage I happened to read that day. The only reason that I could grasp the meaning of a certain text was because someone had previously pointed it out to me. I grew up going to church and I had some pretty amazing Sunday School teachers. They tried their best to make sure we remembered what we were learning from week to week, and not just warming a chair each Sunday morning. So with that being said, I knew in my heart I knew more of my Bible than I was giving myself credit for. I often questioned why people would say, “God really speaks to me in this passage.” For me it seemed as if I was just reading words on a page. I found it very difficult to see how something that happened in the 1st century could apply to my life 2019 years later. I often felt dumb in Bible studies, because I didn’t know how to answer the critical questions about a passage. (Again — Satan telling me that I couldn’t understand.) Then occasionally when it was on my heart, the Lord would grant me wisdom and knowledge, and this went on for about a year. I began to pray seriously and frequently that God would grant me wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of His word.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5 (NIV)
I had often been in times of prayer, before Bible studies and sermons, that asked God to help us understand and gain something applicable, but I guess I had never thought of asking God to help me personally.
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:9-11 (NIV)
I guess my faith was lacking that God would not give me the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to speak to me through His word, even if I just asked.
About a week and a half ago I slowly started seeing my prayers come to fruition. I found a topic within Scripture that I was super interested in, and sure enough I couldn’t get enough. All I wanted to do was talk about it and read what the Word had to say. Ironically, this topic was not something that was ever talked about growing up, so unlike before when I couldn’t fall back on other people’s interpretations this time and I had to create my own. I finally understood what it meant for Scripture to speak to you and for the first time in a really long time (or what have may have seemed like the first time.) I had fallen in love with Scripture and slowly after that it became easier to not only understand Scripture, but to be able to see how it relates to me and to crave the Word of God. I actually wanted to read my Bible constantly and be spiritually fed by the Word of God.
I hope this encourages you in knowing that if this is something you do struggle with you are not alone. I encourage you to pray (and I’ll be praying too!) that the Lord would give you understanding. That He would give you wisdom and knowledge in your studies in order to apply them to your life. Lastly, I encourage you to find something that interests you within the Word of God! Starting there will make it easier to fall in love with His word, over and over again.
“For the word of God is alive 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.” Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)
Hannah is a sophomore here at WKU, majoring in Business Management. Hailin’ from Todd County, Kentucky, her typical day consists of teaching lil’ kids how to dance, consuming a lot of Diet Coke, and hanging with her pals at HFC.