A Big Black Bible Slap

Every morning, I try to have some “Jesus time” to my self. Since I’m a busy mom of 4, “being by myself” is fairly difficult. My quiet time space usually is the floor of the my closet. About a year ago, I realized I needed a space, so I cleaned the closet out really well, vacuumed the floor, and added some pillows to sit on. It’s a cozy little spot, nothing fancy, but it’s all mine. There is a single plug in the closet….which I never understood WHY the builders would’ve put a plug in the closet….until now. Seriously, I could see a desk in here with a neat little laptop, a lamp, maybe some journals and pens. This space could really feel homey. Until my “dream closet office” is set up, I have dirty socks and hangers as my audience.

Anyways…SO, Jesus Time.

I’m a free-spirited kind of person when it comes to reading. It drives my husband CRAZY! But it fits me. I don’t read fiction books (other than “Hunger Games”) because:
1. They seem like a waste of time and reality
2. You have to read them from page 1 or they don’t make sense

I am a non-fiction reader. Not like biographies, although, maybe someday. But like text books, self help books, Bible study books, cookbooks, diet books, really anything with big bold chapter headings. I am a nerd! The Bible fits right in with the style of book I love to read it because it fits right into HOW I like to read these books. (The hubs has to close his eyes, because watching me read sends him to the looney-bin!)

When I go to read a book, I take the book in one hand and flip it to about the middle. Again, free-spirited girl here, so “middle” equals “random spot anywhere in between the cover.” I look down at whatever page I’m on, look for a bold heading and begin reading. I may read 2-3 pages and get to the end of the chapter. If the book has captured my attention, next, I will go back to the beginning of the book a check out the “table of contents.” After scanning that, I will choose random chapters that catch my interest and start reading them. Hardly ever, will I actually read a book from page 1 to page 227. Why? I get bored and life is too short to read the “Introductions”? I’m not sure totally.

One day with during my Jesus Time, I flipped open the Bible to Isaiah….which happens to be close to the middle of the Bible. I hadn’t read much of Isaiah, before, and quickly felt like I was getting preached or yelled at.

(narrator in my head is the voice of a big man standing on the corner with a big black Bible. He’s standing on a box with a “The End is Near!” sign hanging around his neck.)
“For the Lord has a day of vengeance!
A year of retribution!
Edom’s streams will be turned into pitch,
Her dust into burning sulfur…
It will not be quenched night and day;
It’s smoke will rise forever….
From generation to generation it will lie desolate
no one will EVER pass through it again”
(Isaiah 34: 8-10)

From my flipping through Isaiah, MOST of the book is written in this “yelling at me” kind-of style. I think something bad was happening and God was pretty ticked. But as I’m scanning through the pages, I notice little glimmers of hope
for these people that God is pissed-off with. It almost reminds me of the way that I react when I find out Logan (one of my 5 year olds) has decided he is just too tired to pick up his shoes and dirty clothes off the floor.

Mom: “Boy! Get off your duff! I am not your maid. You WILL clean up your clothes, because I said so. And if you choose not to, a time-out will come until you, and THEN you will pick up your clothes.”

Ah, works most of the time. But sometimes, he does go for a time-out and then when he’s done serving his time, he puts away his clothes like he is suppose to…and like I had asked him 5 minutes prior. He apologizes for his mistake, and I make sure to bend down to eye level and say:

“I love you. I forgive you.”

We move on with life.

In Isaiah, “little glimmers of hope” get plopped into the book from time to time. It’s almost as if God was saying “I’m freakin’ pissed! Would you just listen and follow me! I love you! Can’t you see that’s why I’m sayin’ what I’m sayin’??”

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.”
(Isaiah 40:31)

This is probably one of THE most quoted verses in Isaiah. It’s a great and encouraging verse among all this wrath of God. In my mind, the narrator in my head interprets this “glimmer” verse as “Look, do what I say. Follow on my path. If you do, you will have my strength, and you will rise up from these ashes.”

After reading through the verses around chapter 40, it makes me appreciate 40:31 that much more. I can see that there is way out of trials or suffering: put your “hope in the Lord.” Easy in theory; difficult in reality. Surrender it all to Him…..but that is a whole ‘nuther blog post.

Following the path,
Kelly

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