Here’s the moment I stopped reading the Bible.
I was on the faded green easy chair in my bedroom. Every night as the light faded from white to yellow to gold, I’d open the Word and read.
I’d learned something since college, when reading the Bible was an OCD coping mechanism, a way I proved my worth and checked off Good Christian boxes. These days, I tried to not worry—a young mother with not enough sleep—if I didn’t read Scripture every day. I was trying to be gentle with myself.
Still, I hesitated before I opened up the Good Book.
Because lately, I felt like every time I read those numbered, cross-referenced and paper-thin words my heart got shredded.
I didn’t want to face what that meant. A Christian who can’t read her Bible? Isn’t that an oxymoron?
So I kept going. Kept going and going. Stopping might mean I’d lost my faith.
Besides, perhaps my hesitation was normal.
I knew I was in good company when I winced through the genocides in the Pentateuch. Leviticus was a hard sell, but the rules about women were outdated, weren’t they? And later, when the smiting started in Ezekiel, I skimmed over the passages, thinking Jesus Jesus Jesus, because he’s a good answer to any question.
I breathed a sigh of relief when I got to the New Testament. Now we were out of the woods.
Even Jesus was hard to read.
“You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?”
That day in the green chair, I watched the light go grey. I stared at the fading wall, Christ’s words going through my head.
How long shall I put up with you?
I closed the Bible. I set it on the little table next to my chair, and crumpled inside.
I decided then and there that I had to stop. No: I had to face that reading the Word was shredding my heart.
But why? Why was the Bible shredding me?
Other people read it and were just fine. They were encouraged, and uplifted, and strengthened.
What was wrong with me?
I’m at SheLoves today, talking about the cries of our heart might lead us back to Scripture when we least expect it. Won’t you join me?
Image credit: Britt-knee