Some mornings reading the Bible feels like I’m running a treadmill on 5 hours sleep. While I race through my reading plan, I remember I’ve got to get to the store today because we’re out of milk. I yawn because I stayed up way too late, and the Ramadan drummer woke me up at 3 a.m. (No crying babies around here anymore, but we do have a man beating a drum outside our window all month.) I look at the clock. Five more minutes before I have to jump in the shower. I flip to Mark.
Old Testament reading. Psalm or Proverb. New Testament. I check off the boxes and run to get started on my day. Catch you later, God. Nice to see you.
I know the Word of God is supposed to fuel my faith and renew my mind. Scripture encourages me and gives me the wisdom I need for life. Yet I also go through dry spells when the Bible seems silent. I can’t focus. I start yawning.
Do your eyes ever glaze over when you open God’s Word? When I start yawning over scripture, I try these:
4 Ways to Wake up to the Wonder of God’s Word
When daily scripture reading grows dull, I start praying. I pray to the God of the Bible to show Himself to me through His Word. If there’s a prayer God delights to answer, it’s this one:
Lord, wake me up to the wonders of your Word. Open my eyes to see you and my ears to hear you as I read.
2. Read Less
It sounds counter-intuitive to read LESS when you’re not getting anything out of God’s Word, but it works for me. Instead of a whole chapter, I read just one section. For example, Matthew 2 is divided into several sections: “The Magi Visit the Messiah,” “The Escape to Egypt,” and “The Return to Nazareth,” so I read it over several days. Narrowing my focus helps me to pay more attention.
I slow down and ask God to speak as I read the passage a few times. If something I read sparks a prayer, I pause to respond. Then I focus on one verse. What is God saying to me?
3. Color It Up
A few years ago, I started highlighting my Bible in different colors. Not only does it add fun and creativity to my quiet time, it also helps me explore the meaning of a passage. When I see repeated words and concepts, I highlight them in the same color. I also look for attributes of God, commands, promises, and Biblical themes like faith, hope, and joy. I use these inexpensive watercolor pencils in vivid colors. They work great dry like regular pencils, but you can also moisten them for intense color. I have my own color code system; if you’d like to try it for yourself, click on the printable image below:
4. Write It Down
God’s Word becomes more real to me when I take a few minutes to write down a verse. Again, I like to do this in different colored ballpoint pens. The physical act of writing it down helps me internalize and remember it. When I record it in my notebook in color, it comes to life and becomes mine. I can look at it again later. As I write, I ask, “Lord, what are you saying to me through this verse?”
Instead of ending my quiet time with a quick, “Catch you later, God,” I want to carry His Word with me into my day, so I want to be attentive to listen for God’s voice while I read it. I read less, color it up, and write it down. These help stay me awake to the wonders of God’s Word.
Now it’s your turn. Do you ever have a hard time paying attention to scripture when you read it? What helps you?
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