Lent Day 9, 10, 11

(context: for lent I gave up my daily Bible reading as an experiment. I've been journalling the results.)

Day 9: Feeling unusually grumpy and irritable, and many small problems appear to be much larger and create more stress in me than they normally would.

Day 10: Starting to think this is a bad idea. I didn't feel like talking to people today, and used as little words as possible. People thought I was mad. I kept reciting memorized verses in my head to get through the day.

Day 11: I woke up and decided to abort the experiment, grabbed my Bible off my nightstand and began reading 'verses of the day' which I never do. I often prefer entire Chapters, but it was there and I did, and they spoke volumes to me. I love how the Word can speak new things to you even through verses you've read a hundred times. Spending only a few minutes with the Bible, when I put it down, the world seemed to have more color in it. It was like drinking a cold, tasty glass of water on a hot day. It was refreshing and I hadn't realized how strong my thirst was.

Only 10 days.

I instantly had 2 thoughts (besides the guilt of having given up on the 40 day attempt).

1. The world seemed much more gray without the Word of God in my life for those 10 days. I hadn't noticed how bad it was encroaching on me until I read some Scripture.
2. I thought about all the people in PNG (and the world) who only know a grey world. They have no Scripture, and I got very sad about that.

I realize this experiment sounds like I'm preaching. I realize there are believers who don't read their Bible daily, or even regularly, and to those people this is going to seem like a sermon. It isn't intended that way.

My passion is to get people who do not have the Bible, a Bible. It's that simple. Using all of our skills, my family and I are trying to get God's Word into the hands of people in Papua New Guinea. Having gone without it for only 10 days was a fast of solidarity, but it didn't even compare to generations of lifetimes without God's Word.

I believe there is power in the Word of God. Reading daily, spending time with God is one way to tap into that power. Reading the Word out loud is another way. But we have the Word. I have seen people who have received the Word of God for the first time, take to it like starving people, devouring it, listening to it, reading it, sitting in large groups to injest it.

And then letting it take root and change their lives.

Yeah it sounds like a sermon because I am passionate about it, and mentally I'm walking across a stage telling people… THIS is important. The Word of God has the power to change lives!

I was taking it for granted. I have 3 phone app Bibles. I have a mini travel bible, a large NKJV, an NIV, a MESSAGE, I have Bibles on my shelves, my desk, my nightstand, my computer and my phone. If I forget to bring one to church it's in the pew in front of me, or up on the screen.

If I want a quick fix, it's on the Internet via a web browser, or on mp3 or cd's in my car (with James Earl Jones reading it).

We're almost inundated with access to the Bible.

But in Papua New Guinea, there are people who haven't even heard of the Bible yet. The idea that God wants to reach out and love on them is a foreign concept.

Maybe the experiment worked. Maybe it was the gusto I needed to get up and start expressing my passion more.

Pray for us please, as we are preparing to return to PNG, and have financial needs still to be met.
But pray harder for the people of PNG, who have greater needs than we do.

p.s. I suppose that means I have 29 days left to fast from something else.