It was June 2010 and I was walking through a crowded alley in San Pablo City, Philippines. The sun beat down on my back and the oppressive humidity made breathing nearly impossible. There was not a cloud in the sky and our paper fans did nothing to stop the heat.
I have no clue the temperature that day, but it was the hottest day of my life. We considered taking a jeepney back to the orphanage that was our home that summer but ultimately made the trip on foot. Once we were home we found the children lying on chairs in the common room and in the shade of the big tree outside. There was no basketball game this day. No one was catching flies in cups. It was simply too hot to do anything but wait for the rain.
Later that afternoon the rain finally came like a herd of horses thundering to the ground. It came quickly and flooded our little road and the basketball court. Suddenly, everyone was up and laughing. The children were playing the puddles and soon I was too! Those who did not venture out into the rain looked over the balconies down on the children playing and narrowly avoided being hit with impromptu water balloon made from plastic drink bags.
It was the most refreshing moment in my life. I could literally feel the oppression and discomfort of the morning being washed away.
In fact, just sharing this story with you makes my heart happy.
Now, you might be wondering why I am sharing this story with you on a post entitled, ‘Why You Need a Bible Reading Plan in 2017,’ but I promise that I have a point, just keep reading.
On that very hot day, the only thing that would bring refreshment was rain. Nothing else would do! Our air conditioner didn’t even make a difference!
In our lives, the only thing that will bring true rest, peace, and refreshment is the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
It’s true! Jeremiah 31:25 says, I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint. In 2016, Brian and I went through some things that left us very, very weary. I lost my job, we brought bed bugs home from vacation and it was NOT easy. I got stressed out and cried one minute and lashed out in anger the next. It took 6 weeks for me find a job and 2 months to get rid of the bed bugs. I was weary. I needed rest. And I learned that I needed to stop trying to control something that was out of my control and just trust God.
I was weary. I needed rest. And I learned that I needed to stop trying to control something that was out of my control and just trust God.
And I learned that I needed to stop trying to control something that was out of my control and just trust God.
That’s when the water rushed over me and refreshed my soul. I turned to God’s promises and soaked them up like a sponge. The circumstances didn’t automatically change, but something in my soul did. I was free of my burdens and no longer felt hopeless.
You see, whenever you read God’s word and spend time talking to Him in prayer you are filling a well of encouragement and peace within your soul that you can tap into during the hard times.
You need to read your Bible because you need God. He gladly takes your burdens and replaces them with rest and hope.
You need to read your Bible because this is how God reveals His plan for your life to you. Whenever I try to do thing my own way and let Bible reading and my daily quiet time become an afterthought, I lose myself. My plans rarely work out how I want them to and I get frustrated. Whenever I trust God and value time with Him above all else, I have peace.
One thing that I will never forget is the joy on the faces of those Filipino children as they splashed around in the refreshing rainwater. God fills me with the same joy daily.
You need a Bible reading plan in 2017 because it connects you with God and refreshes your soul. 2017 has only just begun and we have no clue what will happen this year. I pray that it is all roses and sunshine but the truth is that hard times will come and in those moments you will need God more than ever. You will never find anything more refreshing than God’s word so let’s make reading your Bible a priority in 2017.
Do you read your Bible daily? If not, what would help you stick to a daily Bible reading plan? On Friday I will be sharing tips to help you develop a Bible reading plan so make sure you check back then!