60 days ago, I undertook a challenge, a plan – to read the entirety of The New Testament. Now if anyone had told me 10, 20, or 30 years ago – that I would have taken time out of each and every day to read from scripture – I probably would have snorted and laughed. As of today? I’ve completed my first read through.
What is a day? They all seem to bleed together right now. One long day of work, one shorter day of rest. More than once since I began to work from home I have legitimately forgotten where in the course of a standard week I was sitting. Still whether at the start, or the end of the day – I found myself reading through scripture.
I’ll fully admit, there were many things I read which I didn’t understand. Most of Revelation came off like a bad acid trip with what was being described… only to be countered in the end with undeniable beauty. However many years the Lord has given me, I can guarantee that I will never fully understand the word, but I won’t stop trying.
Over the past year and a half now since I was saved, the word has taught me… Through directly reading it myself, or through the interpretations and lessons from pastors and friends. It has truly, truly shaped my new life and brought me peace amidst the chaos that surrounds me.
I don’t know why that has stuck with me, “Truly, truly…” It’s something Jesus said many times, prefacing what He was to say next. I believe it. I believe all of it, truly. Maybe that’s why. The peace I feel is true. Am I always happy? Of course not. Many times in my solitude over the past decade, I have fallen down some dark paths… The word though, always brings me back.
Looking back through my life though, at the darkest points I’ve always sought the light… It wasn’t until much, much later – I found what I was seeking, or to be more clear, the light found me. “And the voice came to him again a second time, What God has made clean, do not call common.” – Acts 10:15. There is nothing common about believing in Christ or being saved.
He’s restored and healed my family. He’s carried me through my funks and depression. In both light and dark, I’ve thanked Him. For 300 days I fasted from alcohol. I went from having several drinks a day to delay the darkness, to numb myself to it… To needing it for that purpose no longer. I couldn’t have done that on my own.
There are many trials ahead for me, many temptations. Many victories, and losses. Much sadness, and much love. Through it all, I will have the word of God with me. I will love God because He loved me first. Whatever else comes my way, is just a bonus.
‘When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”‘ 1 Corinthians 15:54-55.
It’s not just that Christ has removed the sting of death… He’s removed the sting of life, because through Him I have hope, peace, joy, and thanksgiving.