Stress manages to worm its way into our lives stealthily through daily living or by force when major events hit us. Either way, stress takes a toll—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. My desire is to learn better and better how to eliminate, and properly respond to, potential stress. I think that’s your goal as well. The next stress buster I would like to consider is daily time reading the Bible.
Stress Answers for Moms
Do you believe that the answers and godly responses to the stressors in our lives come from God’s Word? “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). “Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way” (Psalm 119:104). If this is true, why is it that we have such trouble being in the Word each day? I have struggled to be faithful in reading my Bible at times.
When Steve and I were saved just a couple of years after being married, we became solid church attenders—Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. We read our Bibles regularly, but we didn’t have a daily Bible-reading habit established in our lives.
I remember a few years later hearing a preacher teach on the importance of being in God’s Word every day. It was convicting, and I agreed with the Scriptures he used and the truth he presented. I desired that for my life. At the end of the message, with every head bowed and every eye closed, he wanted us to make a vow to read our Bibles every day for at least five minutes and then testify to that by raising our hands. I was not willing to make a vow because I thought I might not keep it. As the invitation lingered, I felt a bit of guilt that I wouldn’t make the vow and raise my hand, but I stuck with my decision.
Daily Time in God’s Word
Now, thirty years later, I can tell you that by God’s grace I have not missed a personal daily Bible time for twenty-five years. It wasn’t a vow that allowed that to happen but the reality of the vital connection the Word gives us with our Savior. First, I found that I simply desired fellowship with my Lord Jesus. “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God” (Psalm 42:1). Then I realized that if I were to become the woman God wanted me to be, I needed to grow in the grace of Jesus Christ. I had to crave the Word of God just as a baby craves milk. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious” (1 Peter 2:2-3).
Finally, Steve and I knew that we had to make up our minds to be in the Word every day. It had to become a non-negotiable part of our day. “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11). Hit and miss didn’t work because it was simply too easy to make excuses to put it off to another day. Each day became a ping-pong debate of “Will I or won’t I?” with the resulting negative consequences of a day without spiritual feeding if the decision was that I wouldn’t.
In my busiest times of homeschooling plus being pregnant and having babies, it would have seemed reasonable not to have had personal, daily time in the Word. I found, though, that during those seasons I needed daily spiritual nourishment even more than at other times. It almost seemed a necessity for me to figure out ways to make daily Bible time a reality, and as I cried out to the Lord, He helped me.
It might not surprise you to know that we like using schedules at our house. We have a set time to get up in the morning that allows us thirty minutes of personal Bible-reading time. Sometimes life interferes with those normal schedules, but we still make a wake-up plan in order to have our time in the Word. If we get up later, time in the Word comes first and other parts of the day are skipped. Even if we have an extra-early event, we get up that much earlier to be able to be in the Word. For example, when we are in Colorado in the summer, we will usually climb a 14,000-foot peak or two. To be able to summit and get back down in the trees before the afternoon thunderstorms hit, we often have to be on the trail at 4:00 a.m. Since the trailhead generally isn’t close to our lodging, we might have an hour-long, or more, drive to it. That means we set our alarms to get up as early as 1:30 a.m. in order to have time in the Word and be ready for our hike before we leave.
Time Management Almost Creates Times
If you want to have time reading your Bible, but you really aren’t sure where to read or how to make that time practical and applicable to your life, then I would suggest reading Sweet Journey.
If you struggle with a schedule that will let you have Bible-reading time, I recommend Managers of Their Homes. Almost universally, when a mom puts together a schedule she carves out time to be in the Word. That schedule not only sets aside the time she needs but gives her accountablility and routine to make it sustainable.
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night” (Psalm 1:1-2). As I face my stressors, I need God’s blessing, strength, and grace. Do you?