He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
I was sitting with a friend having coffee this week and we were discussing how it can be so difficult to slow down and visit with God while “life” is happening all around us. I shared with her that two of the best days I could remember having last year were the ones my car was in the shop and I was stranded at home. With a very valid excuse not to go anywhere, I sat in front of the fire place, read God’s word and wrote all day. I shared this memory with joy in my heart and a smile on my face. Then I began to wonder . . . Why is it so difficult to slow down on my own if it brings me so much peace and joy? Not only slow down to seek God, but slow down when it comes to reading and studying His word.
Deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live and keep your word.18 Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.19 I am a sojourner on the earth; hide not your commandments from me! Psalm 119:17-19
I thought of a little girl in my son’s Kindergarten class last year. She broke her dominate hand and as if it wasn’t hard enough learning to write she was forced to use her left hand. It was slow, tedious and frustrating for her some days, but she didn’t give up. She made it happen. The girl has spunk and drive. Yes, she had to slow down, but I remember their teacher saying that by having to slow down she was learning to form the letters in a more precise way.
I want to be precise, to slow down, to savor and dissect God’s word to encourage and motivate myself and others. But how? I began to think about ways to make myself absorb His word – make my brain slow down so it seeps into every chamber of my heart and penetrates all that I think, so and say and resets my pace to His and not this world’s.
Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end. Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart. Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it. Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways. Psalm 119:33-37
Just for fun, don’t laugh, I tried writing one of my favorite scriptures with my left hand. I chose a long one so I would really have to work at it. It was tedious, frustrating and slow ~ very slow, but it slowed my thoughts and my actions. I wasn’t on autopilot because it was so unnatural to write with my left hand. Try it just for fun, but I don’t recommend doing it often (maybe just for memory verses) or you may be tempted to give up studying all together. So for the long haul, I suggest these tools:
Find a word ~ Choose a word from the devotion or cited scriptures to reflect on for the week. Some examples: sovereign, righteous, almighty, full, uphold, future, hope, love, obedience. Search your Bible commentary.
Define ~ Choose one to two words to define and then reread the scriptures, replacing the word with the definition.
Translate ~ Choose two or three different Bible translations.
Go the Distance ~Read the entire chapter of your favorite verse for the week.
Prayer ~Close your eyes and talk to God or write out your prayer in your journal.
I go into greater detail about in my Bible study In The Mi[God]dle, but I pray this will give you a little direction and encouragement to slow down. God blesses us in ways I can’t express when we slow down for Him and the word He has for us.