The Bible doesn’t always make sense to me

This morning I wanted to study a specific passage of scripture in the New Testament. But instead of gaining insight and revelation, I felt like I was hitting a rock. None of it was making sense.

A well of frustration bubbled up inside of me.

Out of that frustration I turned back to my chronological reading plan — back to the Old Testament and into Psalm 25. This is what I read:

“Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.” —Psalms 25:4-5 NLT

My frustration began to subside. Maybe the passage I wanted to study didn’t make sense to me and left me feeling uncomfortable because of that, but I have to be ok with not understanding everything. God will lead me by his truth and teach me in due time.

One thing I’ve learned through this reading plan I’m doing is that the Old Testament gives a necessary foundation to what is written and chronicled in the New Testament. I can’t understand one without the other. So while I am eager to get to the good news of Jesus the Messiah, I need to be patient and submit myself to the process.

Show me the right path…point out the road for me to follow.

I also need to trust that God will show himself through his word. That each day I’ll learn a little bit more. That he’ll lead me by his truth. I just need to show up and be teachable.

You are the God who saves me.

My hope is in the Lord. He is my shepherd who leads me, corrects me, protects me, provides for me. I am nothing without him. He is everything without me.

When I don’t understand, my default will be trust.

When I’m frustrated, my default will be trust.

When all else fails, my default will be trust.

Frustration is going to happen as we read the Bible. We’re fallen sinners trying to comprehend the kingdom of God. But remember, God wants us to be a part of his kingdom – that much is crystal clear to me.

This is a good reminder to submit to the process of learning and being made new by him layer by layer.

All day long I put my hope in you.

Nothing else

The first time I heard this song was about a year ago at a Kari Jobe concert my friend brought me to, which was more of a worship service than a concert. We were a year into the pandemic and everyone was spaced out. But we were on our feet, on our knees, worshipping the God who never changes.

I loved this song immediately. It gave words to a prayer in my heart I couldn’t give words to myself. Isn’t that one of the most beautiful things about music?

Fast forward to now. I turned 34 this month. Looking back on the last year, I’ve learned a lot. It was a huge year for my husband and I. And one of the best things God developed in me was a desire for prayer.

Before this year, I never really tried too hard to pray outside of moments of crisis and little mental prayers through my day. Of course God had my devotion and my heart, but still the concept of sitting down just to pray was too overwhelming for me…I would always ask, “What is prayer?” It felt like too big a question. Untouchable. But honestly…is it? Is it really that complicated? Do we make it harder than it has to be?

I think so.

I did.

When I sit to pray now, to seek wisdom from God, I think about all the stories of him I’ve read in the Bible. How he created this planet I live on and everything in it and around it and outside of it. I think about how he parted a sea for a nation to walk through. The laws of physics, economics, social standards… all submit to him. That is who I’m talking to.

And he meets with me about my life. My mundane, small, sometimes seemingly too small life. Yes, he meets with me about my life. I ask for wisdom with my money and he gives it. He advises me. I ask for help on behalf of my loved ones and he helps. He sees how my heart aches as they go through their own battles. Nothing is too big for him, and nothing is too small. Consider that incredibly true fact each and every time you meet with him.

Daniel Henderson recently spoke at our church, and he said something that finally broke down the walls surrounding prayer. He said no one is good at prayer. That phrase set me free. Because that’s exactly what held me back for too many years… I wasn’t good at it.

No one is good at prayer. There’s not a bar we have to reach. We can’t fail at this. Prayer isn’t even about our skills of conversation or knowledge of theology anyway – it’s about God and his love for us.

So how does all this tie in with this song? This song starts with God. There is nothing too big, to small, too complicated or too simple. And it’s not about us. Sure, it’s about us in the way that we’re the ones needing his help. But it’s only God that can truly help. And he knows the best way to help.

This is how I want my life to be. Starting first with God. Coming boldly and humbly before him in prayer each day. Good at it or not.

Nothing else. When I start with God, all other things flow from there.

I'm caught up in Your presence
I just want to sit here at Your feet
I'm caught up in this holy moment
I never wanna leave
Oh, I'm not here for blessings
Jesus, You don't owe me anything
More than anything that You can do
I just want You

Thank you for seeing me [a prayer]

You knit me together in my mothers womb. I am known by you. I have never been a passive, random outcome of a life system – that is not the way you work. You are intentional.

I am not the same as others around me. I am different. You saw to it that others complement my weaknesses, and I can buoy others with my strengths. You saw to it that I would come alive when I live in community with others.

My life was never meant to look like my neighbors. It was meant to look however you see fit as I look to you. And that alone could keep me dependent on you, for it is so easy to emulate what I see and what I think I desire. But you’ve made me special. And you are but a breath away, ready to lead me and instruct me. For you know the plans you have for me. You know the paths I must travel and the people I must meet. You know the desires of my heart and what gets me up each morning, for you made me.

And you listen as I pray. You hear each worry and do not shun me for bringing my earthly troubles. For this is where I am and where you’ve placed me. You care when my grocery bill is low. You want to help when my friendships are hard. You understand I am tempted with jealousy and you offer a way out.

The trials of my life are not petty in your eyes. They are opportunities you use to show me a better outlook, a better mindset. They are opportunities to show me that you are here with me. You see. You know. You understand.

And you offer me wisdom. You lead me to your truth. You don’t abandon me. No, you rescue me!

God, you are only good. I submit to your leading and take comfort in how you see what I can’t. My vision is limited, but yours is not. I trust you in every circumstance and praise you with every outcome.

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