Read Through the Bible – Week 17

prayer-page

I hope that you’ve been blessed as you’ve been reading through the Bible with us! Please know that many other people are sharing your journey through the pages of God’s Word. If you’ve just discovered this site, welcome! The ExploraStory Cafe has been created to be a place where we read and reflect upon God’s Word, where we learn more about God’s plans for our lives, and where we are equipped and empowered for ministry.

This week, I was struck by the words: “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is in the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and it is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8)

We’ve had a lot of rain in the last few weeks.

The herbs and flowers that my wife planted just a few weeks ago are growing like crazy. The trees are lush and green. The grass on my lawn is growing so quickly that I need to catch the clippings in a bag every time I mow it. And, of course, the weeds are growing just as quickly – sometimes, too quickly.

We all have times of abundant growth in our spiritual lives.

We have times when we drink deeply from the well of God’s love. We have times in our lives when we feel abundantly blessed – and almost like we’re planted beside a stream. Madame Guyon, a 17th-Century French mystic, once wrote in her short book entitled, Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ: “Rest quietly before the Lord. Let this simple, quiet rest in Him always be your preparation for everything. You must  keep this in mind: Your only purpose is to be filled to overflowing with the divine presence of Jesus Christ and, deep within you, to be prepared to receive from Him what He chooses to bestow upon you.

But Madame Guyon also writes: “The fact that you will have spiritual dry spells is not the issue. The important question is: What will you do in a time of spiritual dryness?

Perhaps, you have days when it’s hard to spend time reading the Bible and praying. I was reminded in last week’s reading from Jeremiah that there will surely be times of drought and times “when the heat comes” in every Christian life. But I was also reminded that, in those times, I can draw upon moments when I’ve felt God’s presence. I can be sustained by the waters that have moistened my roots in times of abundance. Madame Guyon tells us: “Wait upon the Lord in a spirit of humility [in periods of dryness]. Come before God quietly and peacefully, recalling your mind to His presence even though His presence may evade you.

Here are next week’s readings:

Sunday: 2 Corinthians 1-3 – Monday: Exodus 13-16 – Tuesday: 2 Samuel 1-4 – Wednesday: Psalms 48-50 – Thursday: Job 33-34 – Friday: Jeremiah 22-26 – Saturday: Mark 13-14

Blessings!

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