More than Stories

Standard

Jasmine was very honest in the safe distance she treats the Bible. When I asked her what she thinks of a passage in Mark we just read together, she said, “Nothing. These are just stories to me.” She articulated what I have been feeling, but as a Christian I dare not say out, in the past several days when I read my daily Psalms and Proverbs. But God surely knows my heart. He cannot be fooled. My roommate’s bare comment last night and today’s dose of Psalm  peeled the outer veil of piety I had been putting on everyday. “Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults.” (Psalm 19:12)

Everyday I squeeze this plan of reading a chapter from Psalms and Proverbs. I had computed that in a year, I would have read the whole Psalms twice and the first 60 chapters thrice. And I would have read Proverbs 12 times! My motivation has been finishing an assignment I had put on myself, more than a spiritual encounter with God–the composer of the words He had breathed into the pens of the authors. I had stripped His word down to mere structured phrases, which a professing Christian ought to read, re-read, memorize, quote, and post on facebook or study table to serve as beautiful inspirations for the day. But God challenged me through Psalm 19:7-9 that His word is beyond stories, more than a cure for a bad day, or a vitamin dose to start the day right. His word brings promises of revival to the weary, transforming wisdom to the simple, joy to the depressed, clear vision to the confused, eternal security to the near-sighted, and righteousness to the flaky and faltering. I had spoiled God’s word of its essence with my attitude of, “Okay…it’s June 9, I guess I’m reading Psalm 74 and Proverbs 9 today.” Am I not supposed to have an expectant heart of, “God, here I am. What do You want to tell me through your word? It’s more precious than gold, it’s sweeter than honey. Through it will I be warned, in keeping there is great reward. (Psalm 19:10-11) ” Oftentimes, I find myself eating while reading the Bible, or delaying the plan until I’m at the bus stop because I thought that’s more efficient. I get ready first, prepare the day’s food, dress up, and do all other preparations except coming before God who had looked after me through the night and awakened me for yet another day. I miss that day long ago when I first read this romantic response to God’s dusk to dawn doting on His loved ones,  “I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.” (Psalm 3:5)

Dear God, you know my habitual sin of taking everyday as though I have a need to conquer it on the pretext of being a good steward of time. You know how I approach you disrespectfully and if I may be so honest, something to the lines of, “What do you want to tell me right now? Come on, speak up, I’m listening while I’m trying on clothes to wear today.” Or, “I’m sure if you want to tell me something badly, you’ll make it loud and clear. So it doesn’t really matter if I’m preparing breakfast and listening to Charles Stanley’s podcast.” Father, keep your servant from willful sin; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression. (Psalm 19:13)

O Lord, I profess that you are my Rock and my Redeemer. And in my sinful self, I am oftentimes tempted to sleep when I fast, to daydream when I pray, to drift into wishful thinking when I intercede, to quote memorized verses without acknowledging the Spirit’s power and presence when I counsel. So, please…may the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, now and forevermore. (Psalm 19:14).

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