By Sandy Mayle
I’ve been reading from the Bible since I was old enough to read. I’ve used the King James, the NIV, the Living Bible, the New Living Translation, The Message and others. I have read every verse multiple times, studied many of the individual books in-depth, delved into the lives of biblical saints and sinners, researched various topics…
All this not to brag, but to confess something that sounds awful: occasionally I have gotten bored with the Bible. Even while I absolutely believed its words and knew I desperately needed what it had to say to me, I’ve wished I could read it with fresh eyes, uncover something new, find a way to bring it alive again. And I’m sure many believers, especially we who are middle-aged and beyond – have experienced my dilemma.
A few years ago, as the year began to wind down, my longing grew to be renewed in love for the Bible, so that I would once again enjoy reading and studying it. Surely God Himself wanted me to love His Word!
I confessed my boredom to Him and wrote down a simple prayer request: That I would be awakened to Your Word. And the Holy Spirit led me to Psalm 119. Here was a writer who loved God’s law and took 176 verses to say so! I wanted his appetite for the Word.
I soon began to pray three scripture verses day after day:
- “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law” (Ps. 119:18 NIV).
- “Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart” (Jer. 15:16 NKJV).
- “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long” (Ps. 119:97 NIV).
Nothing dramatic happened overnight. But eventually an idea formed. Each month of the coming year, I would study a different Bible book or character or topic, however the Lord led. I would write down the ways He spoke to me through His Word and the conclusions He revealed. Read supporting books and material. Take any action steps He urged. Learn and change and grow in twelve different ways in the year ahead!
With the fresh direction for my Bible study came a renewed love for God’s Word and excitement about delving into it in the coming days and months. Direction and anticipation – definite answers to the prayers I’d been praying.
It proved to be an intriguing journey. Varied monthly topics, such as controlling the tongue, godly aging, and resting in Him became treasure hunts as I followed one reference to another, finding out what the Bible says and seeing myself change and grow.
Today, an enthusiasm for God’s Word remains… but I don’t take it for granted. For I recognize my fresh passion for the Word as God-given and I want to cherish and nurture it and, God helping me, never become bored with the Bible again.
Readers: Growing bored with the Bible happens to many of us, especially if we’ve been reading it for years. What practices have you adopted to navigate this experience in your own life?
Sandy is a freelance writer living in Erie, Pa. She loves words, nature, and solitary retreats. Her newest venture is mentoring in the equine therapy program at a nearby horse ranch. She and her husband, Dave, have three sons and three grandchildren.