One of my favorite websites is www.pktfuel.com. The kindness that KAE was founded on is the kindness found in the Bible, taught by God, shown by Jesus, for our own examples. With that said, I love finding great devotionals that speak about everyday life, problems, issues, accomplishments, etc., within the context of God. I came across this devotional written by Lizzy Milani that I had to share. I don't know whose heart it will touch but I know it will touch someone. Enjoy!
I remember the first time I heard the phrase:
“A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.”
I clapped, passionately nodded my head, and hurled an “amen” at the preacher, too.
But inside, I gulped.
My Bible was not falling apart.
And neither was I.
The equation wasn’t working. I felt convicted (manipulated) enough to put “reading my Bible more” at the top of my must-do-more-of-to-be-a-good-Christian-and-keep-myself-from-falling-apart list.
Twelve years or so later, I heard this saying again for the umpteenth time. However, I didn’t join in the chorus’s of amens and refrained from fist pumping and doing “ain't that the truth” eyes because:
My Bible was falling apart.
And so was I.
In every single way.
Health, marriage, relationship with my kids and parents and brothers, faith, emotions: total rollercoaster. And I was doing everything I was told to do: read the word, did what it said. But it wasn’t working.
I thought it must have been my fault. Maybe there was hidden sin in my life; I wasn’t doing enough at Church; wasn’t engaged enough in my community. I wrote scriptures out and put them in my wallet, pocket, bedside drawer. I listened to “worship” music all.the.time. I upped the ante and then some. Dialed in, named it and claimed it, thought I’d “faith-it-till-I-made-it.”
But I didn’t make it. I crashed and burned.
For years, I had inadvertently treated the Bible like a recipe book, a how-to-manual, the only map I’d ever need. It worked that way for a while. Until it didn’t.
The Bible was written over fifteen hundred years, by at least forty (if not more) different authors, going through many different seasons/situations/changes in ancient communities. If you read closely enough, when you dig into these authors and their lives (what we know of them), they were not people who had everything together. Their lives were tattered and broken and frayed and falling apart.
In his book, “The Bible Tells Me So” Peter Enns said: “When we open the Bible and read it, we are eavesdropping on an ancient spiritual journey.” A journey of how, across the ages, people’s relationship with God and their understanding of him grew and moved and morphed. It’s not a book that seeks to keep you from falling apart, but rather an ancient sacred text that lets you know that in your questions about God, your triumphs and tragedies, your fears and joys, in your falling apart: you are not alone. That there is more going on than what we know, and to find out more, we need to trust. Beyond words, theologies, dot-point-wisdom and dogma, the Biblical text gives us a trajectory in the never ending pursuit of figuring out how to be in the world together, and rather than destroying one another, find salvation and love.
It’s not a book that silences my questions, condemns my doubts, or shames my sins. It’s a book that invites all of it to join in its ancient story: a story that lives beyond its pages in our flesh and blood lives.
"The Bible invites us to join its ancient story: one beyond its pages and into our flesh and blood lives" - via @pktfuel
Does the cliché “A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t” have a little bit of truth in it?
Maybe in the sense that when we are falling apart, and we don’t feel alone, condemned, shamed or isolated – when we have a great cloud of witnesses that testify to the journey recorded and written down and collected for us to live along side – the falling apart invites its own kind of grace and newness into lives. A painful one, but not a wasted one. And then sometimes, even in the falling apart, we are put back together.
Instagram: @lizzy.milani @jessemilani and @pocketfuel
Twitter: @lizzymilani @jessemilani and @pktfuel
Read other daily devotionals @ www.pktfuel.com.