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I recently spent an entire day doing laundry. The “entire day” part should tell you we were all wearing our last pair of clean underwear. There had been a sustained neglect of domestic duties, which, apparently, I’m in charge of. My bed was filled with neatly folded piles of clothes. All the stacks were straight and arranged by subcategories (I have a lot of issues).
I brought the last load into my bedroom to fold, although I certainly wasn’t planning on putting them away for at least another day, which is a charming habit my husband adores.
But instead, I found my three kids on the bed jumping on, hiding under, and tossing up every piece of clothing I’d spent all day folding. While I was trying to remember where I put that foster care number, I yelled, “What possessed your three little minds to mess up everything I just folded?” My oldest son, Gavin, looked at me as if I sometimes don’t understand this life at all and said, “It was fun.” (My daughter — with leggings and underwear draped on her head — answered, “I didn’t do it,” but sometimes she lies, and that’s a different book on parenting and/or anxiety management.) Unfolding was fun.
The last word most of us would use to describe Bible study is fun. Unfolding Scripture is at best intimidating and at worst drudgery. Now, I wanted my stacks to remain folded until they magically transferred themselves into drawers, but my kids discovered the sheer joy of the unfolding process. They also discovered maternal domestic wrath, but they can work that out with their therapists later. God’s desire is for us to encounter His Word truth by truth until there isn’t a folded piece left. He wants to find us covered in Scripture and loving every minute of it.
God never intended for His Word to be a tidy, hands-off package with crisp edges and a wealth of mysteries that we set aside until Sunday morning. Unlike me, He’s hollering at us, “Get in there! Turn My Word upside down and inside out. It’s all for you.” Or, even better (and possibly more accurate),
“I am the Lord,
and there is no other.
I have not spoken in secret,
from somewhere in a land of darkness;
I have not said to Jacob’s descendants,
‘Seek me in vain.’
I, the Lord, speak the truth;
I declare what is right.” (Isaiah 45:18-19, NIV)
As a pastor’s wife, mom of three, and popular Bible teacher in one of Austin, Texas’ fastest growing churches, Lake Hills Church, Jen Hatmaker has seen a lot of blank stares when the subject of the Bible is raised. Her aim is to change those stares into crinkly-eyed grins of recognition.