By Heather Allen-
I remember holding my Bible at about age ten planning to read through the entire New Testament. But I was stuck on Matthew chapter one. The birds were chirping, and the sun beaming, as sounds of other children playing wafted through my window. I heard the occasional speedboat and tried to focus on the pages in front of me. It was Sunday naptime, so my options were read my Bible or take a nap. Now I read through genealogies with keen interest because I have learned that even what appears to be only factual in nature actually contains scriptural gems. For example the genealogy found at the beginning of Matthew is beautiful. There are women of all backgrounds and reputations related to Jesus, even prostitutes. But back then I was pretty absorbed with the fact that I was probably the only kid stuck in a stuffy room rather than outside swimming.
What really stands out to me about that memory is what I prayed that day. I grew up going to church so it was common for me to hear things like, “Pray and wait for the Lord to show you,” or “What do you feel is the Lord’s will?” Everybody talked about the Lord’s will back then, they were two of the spiritual buzzwords at church.
And I wondered how these and so many other questions were answered. How was I to hear from the Lord? So I prayed and told Him I really wanted to know the answers to some very important questions I had. And I wanted to know if He might help me understand the Bible to.
And time went on and I figured that since I had not really heard anything very clearly I would just kind of do my own thing. I was a Christian so I sort of guessed that my thing must automatically be His thing.
One very beautiful thing occurred in my life at about the same time. I began memorizing scripture. I did this to earn badges for my Awana vest and for the candy bars my teacher would give out. But I knew, even then, that I wanted to remember as many verses as I could.
Today I am thankful for all the memorization because those words learned many years ago, are still used by the Holy Spirit to correct me. I will be going about my day, irritated with someone and 1 John 4:7 will come to mind, “Beloved, let us love one another” (KJV).
It is a bit uncomfortable for a few minutes while I swallow down my pride. But then another reinforcing Scripture flows,”Love is patient, love is kind” (1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV).
Along this hilly journey I have learned to hear my Shepherd’s voice. When my children have the same complaints, “I asked God, but I have not heard,” I encourage them to fill their time reading Scripture. To make it their hobby to know God’s Word. I gather them close re-telling how His Word has sustained me during some dark times. I too have a journal filled with questions I would love Him to answer. But more important than having every why solved, is learning to ask, wait and enjoy those moments. He is amazing enough to spend your whole life pursuing. The pursuit of God is a worthy one. One, I tell my kids, will never be in vain.