Lindsey Carlson lives in Houston with her worship-pastor husband and their four active kids (all under age 10). Her home is filled with the sounds of childhood (galloping horses, swashbuckling heroes, and the occasional sibling brawl), the near-constant presence of music in some form, and volumes of great literature, old and new. You can catch her regular reflections on faith and worship at Worship Rejoices.
It’s been sixty days since I took up the challenge to read the whole Bible in 90 days. And so far, soooooo good. By grace, I’m right on track: 2/3 of the Bible in 60 days!
I feel like reading this quickly has helped me establish mile-markers in my understanding of the Bible’s chronology. Previously, it’s as though my brain had filed each Bible story on a separate sheet of paper, tossed them up in the air and filed them however they landed. When I went back to my brain to retrieve certain stories (i.e. God calling Samuel, David’s anointing, or the Fall of Jerusalem), I had a hard time understanding where they were supposed to fit in. Reading through chronologically and quickly enough to recall what I’ve just read has helped me to clean out my brain’s filing cabinet and re-file the information in the proper order.
Understanding of God
I loved reading the Psalms in chronological order. I learned more about David’s emotions and how he turned to the Lord in joy and suffering. I enjoyed placing the more commonly known Psalms in their context and understanding why they were written. Watching God sustain David as he poured out his heart, reminded me of how good it is for me to pour out everything to the Lord. He wants to comfort me and is faithful to do so.
Saturating myself with stories of multiple bad kings (and a few good ones), wicked disobedience, idolatry, and God’s judgment on sin, I am reminded of how bad people have always been. I often hear people talk about how “bad” things are becoming and how people are more depraved than they used to be. The only thing new about these modern lamentations is the voices. The sin and depravity are the same old song from the days of the prophets. And just as God was faithful then, we know He is faithful still. Reading these Old Testament accounts of fallen kingdoms reminds me of God’s sovereign control and faithfulness to His people – amidst wicked leaders, the falling of nations, and political unrest.
Reading the prophets words to these wicked people interspersed through the historical accounts of Kings and Chronicles helped me to see how God never abandoned the people. Even in their sin, God was calling for them to return and repent. He reminded the people of His faithfulness in the past and assured them of His coming deliverance. God wants to cultivate my faith by both reminding me of his past faithfulness (throughout scripture and in my own life) and His coming faithfulness of bringing me home eternally.
This set of thirty has been a little harder than the first thirty. First and Second Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles, Psalms and Proverbs, and flipping between the prophets is very interesting, but I’m realizing how much less familiar I am with this portion of scripture. While my unfamiliarity makes me want to learn more, the quick-paced track doesn’t allow me to sit and soak it in and study more in-depth. At least now I know what I should go back and study once I’m done with the 90 days!
When I say this chunk has been harder, I also mean physically. I’ve been tired, the kids have been on spring break, we’ve had birthday celebrations sprinkled in, distractions abound. There are days I open the Bible and am fighting to keep my eyes open. Other days I haven’t been able to read at all and then have had to double up the next day. I want you to know this, because I don’t want you to have a rosy picture of how easy this is. Re-reading annoys me. Missing days puts me behind and makes me work harder later. But, I don’t want my eyes to simply glaze over and miss the meaning of the words. So, re-reading or playing catch-up is a reality sometimes. There you have it.
I have never longed so much for the New Testament. Sixty days of brokenness, sin, repentance, wicked disobedience, and the cycle of sin and sacrifice will make you long for the Redeemer. I’ve never seen so clearly my propensity toward sin and my need for lasting atonement. The Old Testament sets you up to understand your sin and need. I need Jesus and I can’t wait to meet him in scripture when He steps on the scene in my reading plan just ten days from now. For now, I appreciate the longing.
Would you pray for my final thirty days? Pray for me to grasp more of who God is through my reading. Pray I would retain His Word as I read quickly. Pray I would continue to see fruit from immersing myself in Truth.
How’s your Bible reading going? Are you ready to read and need prayer? I’d love to lift you up!