July 8, 2013
Take the Plunge
"I rejoice in your word like one who discovers a great treasure." Psalm 119:162 (NLT)
My husband and I had saved for a year to go snorkeling. With all the sacrifices we had made, I couldn't believe we were finally on the white sandy shore. Confidently, I grabbed my gear and prepared to jump into the clear blue water.
But it wasn't like I had imagined. The mask felt funny once I got it on; how was I supposed to breathe like that? My heart fluttered as anxiety grew.
My head screamed at me, dive in! Get out there. This is an opportunity of a lifetime! But my feet stayed planted on dry ground. Though Greg pleaded with me, even came and took my hand to lead me out to the deep water, I never got past the rocky shore that day.
Twenty years later, my chance came again. Starting a few months before the trip, I gave myself a talking-to every day. Go for it, Lynn! It will be worth it. Just dive in and don't look back! I recited this pep talk as I waded in the ocean.
My heart began pounding again, but I kept going. Encouraging voices beckoned me to come farther out where the schools of rainbow-colored fish swam. Holding my breath, I peeked under the water, shocked to see the cobalt blue and golden yellow creations. I even swam with a sea turtle! Before I knew it, an hour had passed.
Did I want to quit? Some moments I did, but I reminded myself of all I was gaining by staying out away from the shore.
There was a time when I avoided "diving" deeper into Scripture. My schedule was always short on time. Not to mention I felt intimidated by stories I didn't understand and challenges that made me feel "less than."
I relieved any guilt I felt about not studying the Bible by reading a verse or two here and there. Yet, like that young woman on the rocky shore so many years ago, I knew I was missing out by not going deeper.
When I became part of a leadership team at my church, I had to take the plunge. The group's accountability helped me be consistent in reading and studying the Bible. The daily homework navigated me as I learned to go below the surface. I found I loved it!
Years later, I can't wait to hang out with Jesus and learn what He has to say to me each day. I still participate in a group Bible study now and then, but what I enjoy most is going through my Bible on my own.
When we study God's Word, He reveals who He is and His plans and heart for us. As we explore different verses, their original Greek and Hebrew meanings, the culture the text was written in, and how verses tie in together, it's like coming upon a gold mine. See how the psalmist put it: "I rejoice in your word like one who discovers a great treasure" (Psalm 119:162).
It was one thing to hear my husband's experience of snorkeling 20 years ago when I waited on the shore. But, his stories came to life when I dipped my head under water and discovered for myself the beautiful coral, shimmering fish and vibrant colors.
In the same way, it's wonderful to hear what others have to say about Scriptures they have studied, to listen to sermons or to read books. But it's really amazing to dive in ourselves. Studying God's Word opens our eyes, heart and mind to learn from Him about His ways, His will and His direction for us. So go ahead, take the plunge. What are you waiting for?
Lord, the only thing holding me back from discovering the depths in Your Word is me. Empower me to be disciplined and help me to hear Your voice as I study Your Word. Amen.
Devotions for a Revolutionary Year: 365 Days of Jesus' Radical Love by Lynn Cowell is a book to help your daughter get her feet wet and take the plunge for the deep water of God's Word.
Looking for a way you can connect to your daughter and learn God's Word together? His Revolutionary Love: Jesus' Radical Pursuit of You by Lynn Cowell is for girls ages 13-18. It's a great study for moms and girls to bond over!
Visit Lynn's website where she shares her favorite ways to study God's Word. She's also giving away a signed copy of "Devotions for a Revolutionary Year" as well as a tool to help you study God's Word.
Dive deep into Scripture with the new NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women, filled with 366 devotions written by the Proverbs 31 Ministries team. Take the plunge by clicking here.
Reflect and Respond:
What hinders you from spending time alone with Jesus?
In the next 24 hours, carve out a time for just you and God. You may need to set your alarm clock earlier. You may need to stay up later. Be intentional.
Jeremiah 15:16, "When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, LORD God Almighty." (NIV)
© 2013 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Monday, 08 July 2013.