The Remedy For Chaos
I’m not sure how it is for you, but for me the holiday season that begins with Thanksgiving and ends with New Year’s tends to be a little bit busy and a little bit rushed - with a dash of chaos thrown in for good measure. It’s always good, and it’s always a blessing to be with family, and to have time to be thankful and celebrate our Savior’s birth and get ready for a new year. But I’m always really tired when it’s all done.
The 2021 holiday season was no different, and as I navigated through all of the activity, I found myself really needing both the Lord's wisdom, and His comfort. Fortunately for me, God provided both, and He did so through a source that has never failed to help: His Word, the Bible. In Psalm 19:7-9, we read, “The laws of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight to life. Reverence for the Lord is pure, lasting forever. The laws of the Lord are true; each one is fair.”
I think for most of us, when we read words like “decrees” and “commands” and “laws”, we don't automatically think of “comfort”. Instead, those words can sound harsh and legalistic - the very type of things we're trying to avoid when life is busy and challenging. But in the original language, the word for “law” in this passage is the Hebrew word “Torah”, which means “teaching”, or “instruction”. So what the biblical writer is telling us is that the “Torah of Yahweh” comes directly from God and therefore, gives us direct access to His wisdom.
With that foundation in place, the Psalmist goes on to describe what this direct access to God’s wisdom will do for us. We’re told it revives us, it makes the foolish wise, it floods our hearts with joy, and it gives us insight into life. In other words, the Bible enriches and nourishes our souls. Jesus drives this point home in Matthew 4:4, when He says, “People need more than bread for their life - they must feed on every word of God.” So, just like we need food and water for our bodies, we NEED nourishment for our souls - and God gives us that through the Bible.
Unfortunately, when it comes to nourishing our souls, many of us try all kinds of substitutes. Some do it with relationships, others with yoga, or with the latest pop-psychology movement, or by listening to self-help podcasts. Our world is full of stuff that’s supposed to feed our souls, but the reality is, nothing satisfies and nourishes our spirits like the Bible does. And that's because it is the Creator’s words to His creation. That’s why we need to daily take time to open God's Word to us.
Now, I know from my own personal experience that committing to read the Bible regularly is easy to say, but hard to do. And if you struggle with that, you're not alone: according to a recent survey, “daily Bible reading” is the number one New Year’s resolution made by believers. But it’s also the New Year’s resolution that lasts the shortest amount of time, with most of the folks being surveyed indicating that one week was about as long as they were able to make it. Here’s one of the best ways for us to break that pattern: daily ask God for a passion and desire for His Word. God will be faithful to answer our prayers, and He will be faithful to give us a desire for the gift of His Word to us.
So today, let's ask God to give us a desire for His Word. And then let's take time to actually open the Bible, and let our loving heavenly Father speak to us.