Born and bred. I love the stories of Jesus, the letters of Paul. They speak deep into my soul, there are whole passages of Scripture that I lean into with all my mind, soul, and strength. Heavily. Words of trust and peace flow from the sacred pages into my journaled musings, holy words woven into the dailyness of life, the breath I breathe.
I'm aware that the Spirit mysteriously weaves the beautiful strength of God's Word into counseling conversations with passages spoken from somewhere deep within my being. Golden words that talk of the power of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. Needed calls to speak the truth in love and forgive yet again and to let our 'yes be yes' and our 'no be no.' Warnings about the danger of making decisions from a place of fear or reconciling without wisdom. And compelling invitations to trust deeply in the midst of pain.
Healing words that meld together, streaming powerful redemption light to life's tragic brokenness, long hidden secrets, and paralyzing shame. For we so badly need that freedom from the chains of sin that hold us hostage to the past.
Truth be told, I am not an Old Testament girl.
I love the deep treasure troves of Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes. But honestly? Everything within me cries out against the violence within so many of these early books of Scripture. There is much about the actions of God that I can not wrap my hands around. And passages that I simply shy away because I don't have a clue what's going on. The history gets away from me, leaving my eyes a bit glazed over, with lists and laws, kingdoms and battles.
But that huge section of Scripture has been placed between those leather bound pages for a reason. I know that there is a whole picture that must be viewed. There is a complete story that must be told. Because the powerful beauties of redemption that I so deeply embrace call for a magnitude of reasons why that redemption was so necessary in the first place. And purchased at such an unfathomable price.
And those stories of our ugly, sin-filled natures, that part of us that shakes our puny fists in the face of a mighty God, do not make for easy reading, do they.
I just finished reading the Old Testament today.
It took many months to read through this section of the Word. God knew my heart when He led me there, and He had some lessons in those 1429 pages for me to grab hold of.
Lessons like not picking and choosing which books I want to embrace. You get the whole package, whether you understand each detail or not. Lessons like trusting the character of God more implicitly than ever, even and especially when you just can't fathom what He is allowing or what He is doing.
Discovering what faith looks over the long haul ... the evidence of things hoped for, not seen, not understood, not easily handled. That's why it's called faith. For He is God and I am not. He gets to call the shots, orchestrate the big picture, create the final game plan, know the end from the beginning.
I don't have to understand every nuance along the way. But love Him more than ever, stand on His holy Word, cherish and trust His mighty justice and lovingly wise character?
An unqualified yes. From somewhere deep and strong inside this New Testament girl's oh-so-grateful heart.
And someday I'll see Him face to face. I will fall down and worship the triune God with everything in me. And He will gently take me by the hand and make all things clear to this trusting soul whose wrestlings have only drawn her closer to Himself.
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