Monday, June 6, 2016

An Essential Habit

Years ago, daily Bible reading and prayer had always been on my “Yes I Should” list, but seldom got consistently checked off.

Then my mom gave me a little book called Daily Light. It was a collection of verses that carried the same keyword. I could read it in about 5 minutes, and I could check daily Bible reading and prayer off my “should” list for the day. Not a very good motive, I'll admit, but as a relationship with God began to grow out of the routine, I grew to enjoy those minutes; they anchored my day.

One morning every verse mentioned, “God is my portion.”

“Oh, I like that,” I said to myself. “God is my portion is a really special thought for elderly, white-haired widow ladies. I might need these verses when I'm a cute little old widow in about 50 years. I should start a file and collect other verses, too. Then I’ll be set when it happens to me.”

I became a widow that very day, not 50 years later. When I finally got into bed that night—- alone -—and sleepless—- I re-opened Daily Light and stared blankly at the verses.

I am your portion and your inheritance. Numbers 18:20
Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26
You, O LORD, are the portion of my inheritance . . . Psalm 16:5

Even though I was reading those verses, I felt frozen in a nightmare, like I couldn’t wake up. I didn’t want those verses that night. I loved my husband; I wanted him instead! I hadn’t given a thought to “God is my portion,” since I’d closed the book that morning. Not today, not yet, not for years! I wasn’t ready to be a widow!

Yet God had chosen that day to put those verses in my path, and that thought in my mind about how good they'd be for little old widow ladies. I didn’t even understand what God is my portion meant, but I knew God had spoken. I knew He had known all along what would happen to me that day.

Reading God's Word that day gave me hope.

What if I had skipped my daily quiet time that day? God would have worked some other way. But do you know what? I really like that He worked it this way. He speaks through the Bible, and I want to be sure to hear what He says. Every day. No matter what.


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