I have a friend who loves to spend time with God praying about all kinds of stuff and for all her friends and family. She is truly what I would call an intercessor and I am happy to have her in my corner. This past week I got a message in my in box from her after she had been praying for me. She had these words for me that had been placed on her heart to share…”Follow the path that sparks curiosity and wonder in your heart. If you get that from a thing, ponder it deeper. If not, don’t give it too much of your mental energy.” I’ll take that bit of encouragement during a season in life where I find I’m sifting thru many new things and possibilities. I’ll take that to heart as I look at the stack of books in my corner and on my Kindle and wonder what to read next. I’ll take that as I am finding myself nearing a crossroad wondering which path to take. I know that crossroad is just ahead on the journey. I don’t know for sure how far ahead, but I sense it coming.
Today I started on a journey that does spark curiosity and wonder in my heart. It sparks it in a way it would not have not that very long ago. I found a community on Facebook that is committing to reading the book of Romans each day during the month of June. That is right, the entire book of Romans each day. That is 30 times in one month. I’ve heard of people committing themselves to specific books of the bible for a year or some other plan for being in His word on a regular basis. I once listened to a series of messages by a favorite preacher who had spent a relatively long season in the book of Ephesians. It was a really good series no doubt inspired by soaking in that book for so long. I have a friend who is a preacher who committed to reading only God’s word one year. I think by July he said he had already read it 6 or 7 times. I’ve been working on a 90 days thru the Bible reading plan for over a year and have yet to get out of the Old Testament.
When this community came across my news feed, it sparked something inside of me that wanted to give it a try. At one point in my life it might have been so that I could mark it off as a challenge completed. During this season of my life it is very much about a curiosity of what God is up to. I want to see what the Holy Spirit will highlight in this book over the course of a month spent soaking in it. I want to see how He will use it each day to mold and shape me and my understanding of who He is for me. I want to see what kind of impact spending that kind of focused time on one book of the bible will have. I’m in a place on my journey where I want to hear from Him personally for myself. Seems like a really good time for a challenge like this.
I’ve decided to log my observations and some of the things that God is highlighting for me over the next 30 days here in my blog. I want to have a place to go back to at the end of the month and see what He has been up to. I want a place to go back to a year from now and see how this kind of time prepared me for the next season or strengthened me in an ongoing one. I hope you won’t get too bored with Romans while I camp out here for a while. One of my favorite verses when I was a teenager is in this book…Romans 8:28…And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. I’m looking forward to seeing what other riches God has in here for me during this season of my life. I’m also looking forward to seeing how He will highlight different things out of the same reading for each day along the way.
So…here we go!
Day 1 – HOPE
It’s funny…hope has been on my mind for a few weeks. Do you ever feel silly when you hope for things? Do you ever wonder if your hoping is seen as a little too optimistic? Do you ever wonder if others think you are foolish if you hope for something that seems impossible? Do you have hopes and dreams that you are afraid to share because…well…you aren’t sure they will come to pass even though you hope they will? Do your hopes ever feel like a pipe dream? Well…maybe you don’t have a pessimistic bone in your body and you are certain all your hopes and dreams will come true. Maybe you have so much faith and trust in God that you have placed every last ounce of hope in Him and live in total peace. I’m not there yet. I want to be there!! I seek out signs of hope. I look for it in circumstances…most of the time.
Last night I was having a conversation with a friend about some things on my mind that were a little heavy. She encouraged me to ask God for an increased measure of joy in my circumstances and on my journey. I did that and quickly went on to pondering and reading and Face booking and all those other excellent uses of my time. 😉
Then this morning I began the Romans journey…and found a little joy…in the form of HOPE.
24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. – Romans 8:24-25
5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. – Romans 5:5
I highlighted other scriptures during my time this morning, but these two have stuck with me ALL day! I can hold out HOPE for what He has promised me without once ounce of shame or fear of what I can’t see in my future. If He has promised it to me in His word, it is true and I can hope for it to come to pass whether I can see it right now or not. I can believe Him to fulfill his word and His promises and I don’t have to be able to prove a thing to Him or myself or anyone else. How do you prove a thing you can’t see? Good news is you don’t have to. THAT makes me smile! That gives me HOPE! 🙂
See you tomorrow with a little spark in my eyes…