So every time there's a blog hop for the P31 online bible studies, there are several choices of topics. I usually pick the one that I think I can write the most about or that is most appealing to me. This time around, one of the topics just happened to line up exactly with what's been going on in my heart and mind.
Changed & Transformed. How the Word of God is transforming you from the inside out.
It's funny cuz I don't know if the P31 ladies timed this study with Easter on purpose or not, but it's been like a double whammy for me. I've never claimed to be a Bible-quoting Rock Star Christian. As much as I'd like to be that, I will (and do) freely admit that I am a 'baby' when it comes to my knowledge of the Bible. And I suppose like many Christians, that is my own fault. I have been saved for almost ten years now and although I have a wonderful relationship with God, a great church family, am pretty active in serving/volunteering and pray throughout the day everyday, for some reason I have never 'buckled down' when it came to reading the Bible. I've always wanted to (and intended to) be better about reading and studying it and have bought several versions that I thought would be easy to understand. Sure, I reference them when I am in church or doing a particular study like this one, but I have not been good about going to it everyday for guidance. About just sitting and reading His Word and meditating on it. It's something I am aiming to get better at.
And just this month, two things have pushed me along in that direction. One, this study. Which I chose because I love the tagline, "Making faith-filled choices in the midst of a messy life." But I didn't really know going into it, how much it would speak to me clearly and directly about my understanding (or lack of) of the Word. And two, Easter. Well more specifically... what Easter meant to me this year in particular.
My original plans for the day before Easter this year were to stay in with the pups and work on my writing projects all day. I couldn't go out anywhere anyway since I had a guest dog boarding with me for the day and I had a lot of work to catch up on. Then just before Noon, I saw that "The Bible" was coming on the History Channel. I had missed it when it originally aired last year and even though I had bought the DVD's at Women of Faith last year, I had yet to watch them and they're currently packed away for my move. So I thought, well I could work today or I could just commit to this and watch the whole thing. And by WHOLE thing I mean from noon until midnight. The whole miniseries in one day.
So I did just that. And it was AMAZING. Now of course, it was a TV show so there were a few parts here and there that weren't exactly correct. But overall, I felt exhilarated by the end of it. I saw many stories that I knew (which made me feel a little better since I knew more than I thought) and I learned a lot of things that I didn't know. And it helped me to comprehend that these were true stories of real people who lived real lives. But most of all, it lit a fire in me. To want to know more, read more, understand more. Like I had just been reminded of everything that's been there for me to know and have all along, but I just forgot that I had access to it.
And of course, the last episode that showed the crucifixion reduced me to tears. That might not seem like a big deal for most people... who wouldn't cry at such a horrific scene right? But to me, it was a big deal. For one, because I don't always cry at stuff like that. It's not that I'm unfeeling at all, I'm just not wired to always show it about stuff like that (like when I cried over the dogs in Honduras but not the children). But besides that, it just hit me. Hard. I obviously know what happened. I know what Jesus did for us and for me. I know what the meaning of Easter is and why it's so important. But when I was watching that show, it just hit me. And as the tears streamed down my face, I also felt a huge surge of love and gratitude. And again, felt a fire lit under me.
All of these random bits of knowledge that I already had were suddenly all clicking together in my head like a giant magnet was suddenly drawing them all together. I felt connected, inspired, loved and energized. It reminded me why I get chill bumps out of nowhere in the car when I'm singing along to a song about Jesus. It amazed me again at how much God really loves us. And it made me want to work even harder at being the person He has made me to be.
This study and that television show may have been the triggers, but they are just the beginning. I am so grateful for both and I am excited to finish the rest of the study. But I am most eternally grateful that God loves me so much that He literally sought me out when I wasn't even looking for Him, that He continues to love and guide me every day and that He has given me everything I need to know in that book on my nightstand.
Changed and transformed?
You ain't seen nothing yet.