Thursday, January 19, 2012

(In)consequential Words

As far back as I can remember, Jesus has been a part of my life. When I was mature enough, He became my Savior. I’ve read the whole Bible and studied it extensively during my adult life. Along the way, I discovered an amazing thing. No matter how much I study, there’s still so much to learn.

One of the nuances I’ve found in reading the Bible is probably common to most Christians. If I’m not careful, my eyes skim over words or phrases my brain deems inconsequential. In neurological terms, that’s referred to as chunking, the way we read silently versus reading aloud. It’s helpful in retaining the meaning/context of what is read.

However, I’ve found some gems in those seemingly insignificant words when I slow down and let the Holy Spirit lead me through passages. Writing verses in my prayer journal produces the same result. At times, I discover new meaning in passages I’ve read several times before.

One such place is Job 38:1 (NIV), “Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm.”

It’s easy to skim over this opening verse to read the exciting wisdom God shares in the following four chapters. Those chapters are some of my favorite in the Bible, so I’ve read them several times.

Then, one day, the meaning behind verse one grabbed my attention. God answers us out of our storms! This is so true. When I go to Him on bended knee, in the midst of the worst trials in my life, He has answered me. He’s never left me hanging. He’s always comforted me.

Another passage is in Lamentations 3, when the writer describes his afflictions, bitterness, and gall. His soul is downcast, he says. You can almost hear him weeping. Then, in 3:21-22 (NIV), he writes, “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.”

The word “yet” seems insignificant. However, look at the before and after picture. “Yet” is the turning point. “Yet” is where all Christians should reside—not in the afflictions and bitterness of life.

My last example is I Kings 8:59-60, taken from one of King Solomon’s prayers. “And may these words of mine, which I have prayed before the Lord be near to the LORD our God day and night, that he may uphold the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel according to each day’s need, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.”

King Solomon prays for most of the eighth chapter. It’s easy to start chunking phrases the further you read. However, one phrase leapt out at me in verse 59:

“…according to each day’s need…”

What a great promise in which to rest our worries!

Doesn’t God always provide according to our daily needs? Jesus admonishes us in Matthew 6 not to worry about tomorrow. Apparently, King Solomon held the same belief. He had experienced God’s grace for the people of Israel to supply their needs.

Are you looking for a promise from God in your life? Take a few minutes each day to earnestly study the Bible and then pray. You’d be amazed at the gems you’ll find when you do.


  1. Thanks, Laura. I needed this today!

    1. You're welcome, Teri. I'm glad it inspired you. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Replies
    1. You're welcome, Sheena. Thanks for taking the time to read!

  3. I read so much that I have noticed that I do this, the skimming and I know it isn't good. I don't want to miss the gems. Thanks for the encouragement.

    1. You're welcome. Thanks for stopping by! God bless you.

  4. A great reminder that God's Word is a living entity. I too have read something over and over and then had new meaning jump off the pages and penetrate my heart. Such experiences should encourage us to continue seeking God in His Word.

    1. You're right. I'm reminded of a quote of Corrie Ten Boom. She said sometimes she had to check to see if the ink was dry in her Bible because she thought a passage had just been written, just for her. I thought that was neat! No matter how many times I read the Bible, it seems new and I learn something new. Thanks for stopping by and sharing a comment.