By Writing it Out.
I’d been writing out favorite Bible verses, even chapters, several months when I discovered a curious fact: Another family member had been doing the same.
While discussing our shared habit, I learned I was not alone in my love of the Word and my firm knowledge that women today truly need this book. Such a discovery can blossom like tidings of comfort and joy in a new Believer’s heart.
However, our practices differed because my choice was random helpful thoughts I cherished, whereas she was copying an entire long book—the Psalms—as a method of self-discipline.
What an eye opener!
I didn’t even know how many spiral notebooks she had filled; those minute Bible fonts can grow huge on notebook paper. I did know my random copy work was not even all written in the same notebook.
So I considered it. Whether it was Abraham or Moses, or Jeremiah or Paul, or any other of the contributors to that huge work we call simply “the Bible”, probably we can assume they felt compelled to write, and the same compelling force drove them all.
And maybe that force drives me, and maybe her, too.
Sure, we are not authors; we were merely copying.
However, also consider this: They were “merely” taking dictation.
The Word, Himself, compelled them and compelled the two of us, as well.
As they aged (as some of them were allowed to do, and as I have, also) did their elbows ache under the strain of holding the pen, fingers, wrist, and both halves of the arm in perfect juxtaposition with the shoulder?
As mine does?
And then there’s the brain. We fare better being lined up with it, too. Did their necks cramp? Did they lay down the quill and stretch? Did they yawn and stop for a swallow of water? Did they long for the bed, when the lamp was not yet burned out?
I wonder if they thought their writing not good enough. I wonder if their wives said, “Dearest! Get a little sleep! Please!” but in some language I’ll never grasp (as my husband says sometimes says to me, in English). I wonder if they were always tired on the job, sewing tents, catching fish, chasing sheep, or walking to somewhere to deliver a prophecy.
Sometimes, I’m too tired, too.
But I keep copying. Nowhere near a whole book, but the words that speak to me on any given day. And the words I think of as I meditate on those words.
Yes, it’s a lot of words.
I think I’m learning, noticing themes, solving mysteries and scooting closer to the first writers. There’s something about the way your thoughts change during the leap from reading to writing this:
Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all. Philippians 2:17
What it does to the heart! I have to stop and breathe. Calm myself.
It’s secret, and it flows through the “secretary” work.
And I learn so much.
I learn where ideas are, because I’ve looked them up so often. (A huge concordance helps, Here’s my favorite.)
I learn how God thinks and speaks, while tracing my pen over His Words, from so long ago.
I learn the disciplined syntax of the ancients, unlocked by some of the world’s best translators.
I learn stillness, patience, slowness, as I labor with pen and paper, turning through multiple pages, intuiting the next destination, uninterrupted by wavy red or green lines.
It’s one way of learning the Bible—a simple way I simply love.
So here’s how I do it.
First, having a daily Bible-reading habit helps a lot. Of course, sometimes the day really starts before we do and gallops away with us barely hanging on, right? But there are days and days when the gentle sun is rising on gentle women world-wide who first, read their Bible.
I don’t use a reading plan, really. It’s a plan, though: I just read the next chapter, every day. Sometimes I read two, because it’s made me curious. Sometimes I re-read from yesterday, especially when I was puzzled about it.
But that’s it. Every day, I read a chapter. Done.
It doesn’t have to be a daily assignment, though, all cut, dried, and boring. It’s more like an appointment or a comfy habit. I remember when my children were very young, they would get up in the morning, bumble into the room where their daddy was in his recliner, and climb up onto his lap to rest and wake up. Sweet memories.
It’s like that.
Just wake up and read from His words.
Have a notebook handy, in case you find something you want to remember. Then copy it. If it’s lengthy, move to a table and start writing. It’ll be good, don’t worry.
I’m sorry to say I literally have spiral notebooks all over my house, everywhere. And I’m not sure which one really is the Bible notebook. On the other hand, probably every one of my notebooks has a Bible verse and comment in it. Nice surprises.
Sad to say, sometimes a random page gets yanked out to use for a grocery list, with a Bible verse on it. On the other hand, loose pages with lists and verses float around in my truck, a bit, maybe. Nice surprises.
No, I’m not planning on publishing a devotional book, am I?
After reading and writing, that’s it. Begin your day. Do this for 2/3 of the year, even, and you could fill an entire spiral notebook, if you keep up with it better than I do with mine.
One sure thing will happen—It’ll help; you’ll begin to know the Bible. Guaranteed.
Your gonna need that.