Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years. – Charles H. Spurgeon
Apparently, I woke up one Saturday morning in late January wanting a challenge.
My children (ages 5 and 2) were downstairs watching The Empire Strikes Back (again) and my husband lay next to me sleeping. It was quiet – and that was nice. From the comfort of my bed, I reached over to my night stand and got my phone. I opened the YouVersion bible app and read my verse of the day. Done. I’m ready for my day.
For whatever reason, however, I continued to thumb though my app looking for reading plans. At 42 years old, I still had not read the Bible in its entirety (and honestly wondered if it would ever happen). I looked for a plan that I felt would be doable and the options were endless – Psalms & Proverbs in 30 days, Romans in 7 days, Acts in 7 days, etc. There were reading plans offered on a variety of specific topics like suffering, parenting, grace and stewardship. And then I came across one reading plan that seemed completely absurd:
Bible in 90 Days.
I quickly looked up from my phone expecting the absurdity of the moment to manifest itself in the form of a clown standing at the foot of my bed laughing.
There was no clown.
Who would do this? Who would attempt to read the ENTIRE Bible in 90 days? A monk perhaps? Someone on bed rest? Someone with NO kids?
It was still quiet in my house that Saturday morning. I knew the movie would be ending soon – after all, my kids had watched this iconic movie several times and I was familiar with the sounds of the ending. I looked back at the plan and read the introduction. It promised that the entire Bible could be read in just 90 days by covering about 12 pages a day. The introduction stated that it was a commitment, but it was manageable (these words seemed less intimidating, and I was intrigued). I then looked at the sample for one day and continued to think about it.
From my bed that Saturday morning I decided to gave it a try. I decided to challenge the absurdity.
I believed that if I could get through my first ’12 pages’ on that Saturday morning in January with a husband, 2 small children, a part-time job in ministry, active participation in our small group, a discipleship group and other life activities that occur just from being alive – I could possibly pull off.
So I began.
I knew that if I read on my own, I would get distracted easily (wanting to look up names, follow along in maps, etc), so I changed my YouVersion settings to have the Bible read to me. I then grabbed an NIV Study Bible so I could follow along manually and within an hour Day 1 was complete. Genesis, chapters 1 – 16 was done! Because my husband was still sleeping and the kids were occupied (they had finished the movie, but were playing quietly) I kept going. Within 45 minutes, day 2 was complete. I was comprehending what I was reading and it was actually…interesting. Within a week, I was at the beginning of the Leviticus and the feelings I quietly had of the Bible being this intimidating and complicated book was rewritten on my heart as an adventurous, jaw dropping and at times shocking (love) story. Each evening I looked forward to what would God would reveal to me.
So every night once things had settled down, I would go upstairs, get comfortable and began reading. I came to look forward to that part of the day when I would dig in and have his Word poured into me. I looked forward to learning more about the people, places and circumstances God used to ultimately show His glory and His sovereignty. Moving through the Bible at this pace began to provide me with a seamless understanding of His story. Before this endeavor I would read specific verses, chapters or even whole books (if they were short enough), but diving in this way convinced me even more that His love is deep, faithful and completely undeniable. There are many stories I want to revisit and understand more fully – but it is hard for me to understand how anyone could read the Bible in its entirety and walk away without knowing the truth of His love for us all.
Reading the Bible in 90 days also showed me endless abstract and shocking moments of God’s love (an unprecedented love that isn’t always understandable to us) – like the conversation between God and Satan in the book of Job (NEVER knew about this!) before his family and possessions were destroyed, only to have God restore Jobs’ fortune and faith at a level unimaginable. The story of (King) David beginning in 1 Samuel was beautifully exciting because of how God used an unlikely young boy to live a life faithful to Him and most importantly, have a direct blood line to the Savior we would later be introduced to who would, through his own blood, redeem us all.
I could go on and on about all of the moments, people and miracles that astounded me in my journey through the Bible – the examples are indeed endless and inexhaustible. Last week I read the last sentence in the book of Revelation and an innate confidence washed over me. His word assures us all that He is the hope that we have in all things large and small. Just as I thought it was nearly impossible to complete the task of reading the Bible in 90 days, He showed me differently. In the end (just as in Revelation), He was glorified.
“O magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together.” – Psalm 34:3