So a few months ago, around December perhaps, I got honest with God. Mentors I trust had suggested I read the book of John, and weeks had passed and I had only read the chapter that contained my favorite verse: John 10:10.
So I told Him:
I have no desire to read your Word, Lord. I feel my calling includes ministry, especially to women, yet I have no desire to read your Word. I find it—dare I say it?—boring. Dry.
But I don’t want to feel this way. I want to fall in love with your Word. I want to want to read the Bible. Lord, I need your help.
When I’ve mentioned this prayer to a few people or later how God has been answering it, their responses were, in some ways, wide-eyed or teacherly, admonishing.
But thank goodness, God knows our hearts.
And my heart was dry, tired, in need of spiritual refreshment. And I realized that I needed to get gut-honest with God about my need for help with reading His Word, a Word I knew I needed and wanted but needed His help with.
Two things I’ve found over the years. The first: God honors gut-honest honesty, especially when the heart is pure in it, wanting to grow closer to Him, wanting to help others, wanting to move forward or heal. Even when others may admonish or balk at us, oh, how God knows our hearts and honors these prayers.
And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
—John 14:13–14 (NIV)
The second thing I’ve found is that just like a beau wants to woo us, especially at the beginning of a relationship, God never stops wanting to woo us. Thank you, Jesus, that you never stop giving us flowers or loving us tangibly. In other words, He’s always up for showing His love for us. I remember years ago, single in my early twenties, challenging Him to show me His love for me, meaning it in a heartfelt way, and how He truly showed up.
There have been ebbs and flows in my spiritual walk, times when I’ve been on fire for the Lord, and times when life has clouded my vision and pulled my focus away from Him. This is just like any relationship. But He’s always honored my prayers in visible, tangible ways when it’s come to things like, Lord, give me a hunger for your Word or Lord, show me your love for me.
These are prayers He loves to answer!
So after I made that confession to the Lord that I had no desire to read His Word because I found it boring and dry and asked for His help, help came.
It started first with a mustard seed, a night when I couldn’t sleep and decided to pick up my Bible instead, looking up the topic I was struggling with in the back of the Bible in the index, and finding myself in the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel, reading a story of comparison between two women—Hannah and Peninnah—that I had never read before. I found myself reading the passages like a story and wondering about these women, and being surprised by how the passages read like a storybook.
That was interesting.
Soon after, my friend began a Bible study with the pastor’s wife at her church, the first she taught, and since I crave time with my beautiful friend who is a mother of four, I decided to attend the Bible study on Wednesday nights, despite it being an hour’s drive.
My very own friend blew me away with the connections she was making in scripture and sharing with us. And both leaders took us on a trip of the Bible, showing us the connections between The Vine and The Branches “Abide” passages in John 15 and tons of other parts of the Bible. I took furious notes as we madly flipped pages.
That was not boring.
Then, I decided to mark my calendar for February to attend a Tuesday night women’s ministry at another church, and each night, a different, phenomenal woman of Christ, real and strong, bold and smart, spoke on a part of the story of David and his mighty men (in 1 and 2 Samuel), and, once again, I found myself taking tons of notes and scrolling (on my phone’s Bible app) through the story beyond the verses the speaker shared, wanting to know what happened. And yes, these particular stories involved men, but they are for ALL of us.
That was not dry.
Next, a women’s event with Bianca Olthoff opened up at our church for barely anything, so I registered. For two days, Bianca unlocked the book of Ruth with her MexiRican flair, presenting it to us like the true telenovela it is.
That was certainly not boring or dry.
It seems God is loving seeing my eyes grow wide as His Word comes back to life for me. And I am so tangibly aware that these events are direct answers to my gut-honest prayer a few months ago.
The only thing God has needed from me, beyond honesty, is to show up to the things He is laying in front of me, even when I haven’t felt like it. To step out in faith and go to the Bible study, go to the women’s night, register for the conference. To go where the Good Stuff is.
Now it’s time I start my own study of the Bible, as the fire begins to burn in my heart again. I’m also looking for a small group of women to do Bible study with—I found one from my church that meets on Tuesdays at a local coffee shop, so I’m going to show up this week and see what it’s all about.
Thank you, Jesus, for answering my prayer. I pray for others out there to feel brave enough to share their true hearts with you (you already know, Lord), but I pray you deepen their desire to know you and to know your Word, which is our Book of Life and Love from you to us. Thanks for walking with us on our journey, and letting us return to you time and time again. You are a safe place.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
—Proverbs 3:5–6 (NKJV)