I do not know if it is appropriate to say, “I read the Bible and got nothing” but I am saying it today–but before you get bothered please allow me to explain.
I am currently in Louisville, KY. I am here for a doctoral seminar at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where I am pursuing my Doctor in Ministry degree. This is my third time here in the last 13 months and I will be here likely every six months until December of 2021, which is my projected graduation date.
So this morning, I read Genesis 7, and in the moment of reading it “I got nothing” now when I say, “I got nothing” I mean that nothing struck me–there was no “aha” moment or grand revelation. I didn’t see anything in there in a new way or something old that impacted me in such a way that I thought, “I want to write on that.” But I decided to sit on the text for a ‘bit and see if I would feel different about the text after I sat in class for the day. Well, I didn’t and now after dinner and a run, I still don’t.
Why am I sharing this?
First, because I want to encourage folk that sometimes read the Bible and come up blank. It’s okay, it happens to all of us–well maybe not everyone–but if you’re reading this you can know it happens to me also. You’re not alone.
Second, I am sharing this because while I say, “I got nothing” out the text, I don’t know if that is actually true. At some point tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, I may be conversing with someone and suddenly I need something from Genesis 7 to add to the conversation or to answer one of their questions. By reading the text even when I don’t “get anything out of it” is building familiarity with the scriptures. Familiarity God can and I believe will use for my edification or the edification of another in the future.
Third, because even when “I get nothing” of this scripture or any other, I am developing the discipline for returning to the Word of God day after day. The spiritual discipline of daily Bible Study is a challenge in our hectic world, a world with so many of the devil’s distractions. I have to develop the muscle of study. I sometimes go out for a run, and I feel like it was the worst run ever, but I know that even though the run felt like a waste, I still added discipline to my life that will help me go out there and run the next day.
Fourth, I know that while I may feel like “I got nothing” from my reading time. I have been building a relationship. The Bible is God’s holy word; it, along with Holy Spirit guided prayer, are the two primary ways God communicates to us and builds relationship with us. Relationships don’t go deep through every day “wow” moments. Relationships deepen through consistency. I called my wife and kids tonight. What did we talk about? With the kids: homework. Basketball practice. Going to their friend’s house (and that is literally all they said, no details about the friend’s house). With Christina: her work. My class. Paying for the piano lessons. My run. When am I graduating again? No “wow” moments. And honestly, nothing new. But my relationship is stronger with my family because I check in every day, even when “I get nothing.”
I’ll talk to you tomorrow–Genesis 8
Oh, P.S. Happy Birthday Dad and Uncle Donnie!