A few years ago, I was drowning in depression, fear, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive thoughts. I was scared of my own shadow let alone real life. It was during that time the Lord led me to a Christian counselor who taught me to see the Bible as a weapon in this battle I was up against. He taught me I could not live by bread alone. I realized, at the most, I had only been snacking on real, substantial nourishment found in the Scriptures.
“A couple of years ago I realized I needed a mind overhaul. I was negative, scared and stuck in the habit of wrong thinking. I turned to my Bible…the dusty, unused, sat-on-a-bookshelf-like-a-wallflower-at-a-junior-high-school-dance…and started reading it. And God started gently speaking to me through His inspired Word.
God started teaching me, through His Word, how to think, behave when discouraged and use my words the way He intended. And it changed me’ well, changed sounds so definitive. Let’s say, “It is changing me.”
–The Catholic Child’s Teaching Bible
Just a couple of years before those words I shared above were written, I needed the Word of God in my life in a way I had never needed anything before. It would not be an exaggeration to tell you picking up my Bible was my last resort. My last resort in the sense that I never read my Bible and in the sense that I was at the end of my rope with myself and my life. I was mentally sick and tired and physically sick of being mentally sick and tired.
I don’t know why I thought I could live on bread alone. Probably because I had never been taught or shown otherwise. Friends, I do not want that for you.
I am in a season now, where, although not scared and running for cover, I am scattered mentally, tired emotionally, and spent physically. Feeling scattered, pulled, and pressed on all sides should send me straight to the Word for comfort and nourishment.
I’m afraid if it were not for our Online Bible Study Community, I would fall back into the habit of mindless snacking. Especially right now when so many things in life are flipped upside down, closed down, or completely uncertain. We were made for Christian community and when that’s taken away, those already struggling can very easily fall through the cracks.
Realizing I need the Word of God as a daily source of nourishment has not been a once and done thing in my life. Sure, I’ve picked up my Bible and read here and there thinking I was actually doing something when all I was really doing was fooling myself into thinking I’m nourishing myself. But writing the Scriptures and working through journaling reflection questions, ahhh, now we’re talking about some nourishment!
Those times of snacking, I kept coming up malnourished wondering what in the world was the problem. Why was God not working? I’ll let you in on a secret, it was not a God problem, it was a me problem! It is a me problem!!
A little scripture reading here and there can no more fill me up than grabbing a slice of bread and calling it a meal.
I also realized, sometimes I need to make adjustments to how I’m reading. Traditionally I would have read a more formal translation. I would have read the verse about living by the Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. But I’m not in a season of “proceedeth” and “Thou” or “Thee.” I’m in a season of need.
See God’s perfect timing? He knows I’m in a season where I need to be intentional about what I think about and need to be intentional about spending good, quality time in His Word. He also knows I need to share His encouraging revelations to me with others; it’s just a part of how I process.
Our Online Bible Study Community was born out of my need. I just figured if I needed an online community to read the Word of God with, others might too. If I was going to design a Scripture Writing Plan for myself, might as well make it a printable and invite others to write the Word with me. If I was going to spend some time pondering what I had read, might as well type it up in a worksheet and share it with others.
I’m going to take a wild guess you need His presence as much as I do. Coming together with each other here on the world wide web to read, study and meditate on His Word, will bring us into the presence of God. We will learn of Him as we learn alongside each other. We will find His Word to be a source of encouragement as we work to encourage each other.
My short break from a more communal blogging has led me to different blogs to read and ponder the scriptures in community. I’ve realized, it doesn’t have to be perfect or even pretty. I don’t need “St.” before my name or who knows what sort of letter combination after my name to encourage and share God’s Word with others. I need a deep desire to love Him more fully, spend time with Him more intentionally and intimately, and a love for sharing His good news with others. Check–check–and check.
For more on how I’m spending time in the scriptures check out my Bible Journaling page and my Bible Quotes page. And of course we would LOVE to have you join us in our Online Bible Study Community!! And if you just aren’t ready for an online community, the same Bible studies we use are available in The Littlest Way Shop for purchase.
*Updated and revised from the archives.