Flopping onto the couch in the dark, I come hungry to the Word. Every morning, starving. It’s an insatiable ache that only God can fill, and though He does repeatedly, I find myself still asking for more. I used to think it was my ingratitude that caused the longing to linger, but the more I read, the more I believe that the hunger is God-given, and intended to linger, even after I have been fed. It’s not that God is insufficient for the filling, rather it’s that the tasting of His goodness awakens an indwelling soul-hunger that begs always for more.
Swiping through my bible app, I find my next scheduled reading. Casting the hand-held device aside, I opt to consume the Word by way of the printed page, fine tip marker uncapped, at the ready. Line by line, I comb through the text, marking words that stand out, words that cause a reaction in me. I scribble questions in the margins, and sometimes, I am forced to simply stop. I hold the pen still while the words breathe new life into ideas already held. Sometimes the text hits hard, challenging my preconceived understanding, or previously held beliefs. Wait a minute, I sometimes whisper to no one.
Some mornings the words seem to peel up from the page, begging me to notice them anew. And of course in response to such an invitation, I do. I notice them like never before. I might suddenly understand what moments ago eluded me. Living and active–that’s what Paul says in the book of Hebrews, that’s how he describes God’s inspired word. I feel it breathing new life into my own faith with each line I ingest. God gives new revelation of Himself, through Himself, for He IS the Word, just as John said.
In The beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)
When I settle on the corner of my couch with the gnawing of a holy hunger chewing away at me, I find God fully present beside me, in front of me, in my lap in between the lines printed and bound, yet unbound by my limited understanding. Sharper than any two edged sword, He cuts to the quick of my interpretations of His truths, and the reality of what He means. They are not always the same. My presumptions and mistaken perceptions unravel as His blade of truth pierces the holes of my faulty theology. Just because I don’t like it, doesn’t make it untrue. Just because I can’t understand it, doesn’t make it incorrect.
Whatever baggage I bring to the table, God carefully, tenderly parses. My thoughts and intentions surgically dissected there on the table, my sometimes-gaping wounds bound and sutured by the very Word that splits me open.
God’s Word lives and breathes because He lives and breathes. He is the very Word. His word is active and piercing because His truth cuts to the quick of us. He splits us soul and spirit, joints and marrow, bringing light to the dim dark hunger that keeps us coming back. More of you God, that is what we pray.
More and more and more.