20 March 2014


Paul just came in. This is the second time he has interrupted my study this morning. Lately I have made a commitment to do some personal Bible study each morning. This is my time to dive into the Word and learn for myself what I may or may not learn in church.

I saw a Facebook quote the other day that said something like If people actually ate food like they read the Bible, there would be a lot of people in intensive care. Now, that is not a direct quote – it is my interpretation of an actual quote. I had to read the quote a couple times to understand what the guy was saying, and then I got it.

The Word should be like food to us, yet so many people do not spend enough time in the Word to adequately feed their souls. I. Am. So. Guilty.

So often I sit in church or sit on the red leather loveseat with Paul watching sermons from our two favorite pastors (Joseph Prince and Judah Smith, by the way), and I think to myself, I should read that book; I should read that passage or story again; I have never read that book; I would like to know more.

Sometimes I do go investigate the Word and sometimes I just let it lie. I have a Bible and every available translation is on the internet so I have access to a Bible but, for some reason, I find myself not reading the Bible. I read books; I read TIME magazine; I read clues to crossword puzzles I may or may not finish. Why can I spent hours reading those things and not the greatest book ever written?

This week I challenged myself to dive in – no rules, just time. No strict schedule of when to start, when to finish, or how long to devote, just a commitment to making a time commitment.

The first two days I read short books, jotted down some notes and personal questions. Today is the third day, when I am taking on a bigger book: Deuteronomy. Enter Paul.

He came in to tell me about yet another job that he may or may not want. Paul is excited as always about a [shiny object in the corner] new job and the prospect of living somewhere else – this somewhere would be Dubai.

He is worried about Dubai, specifically the case regarding a European woman who was jailed after she was raped. According to Reuters, after drinking with a colleague, she was pulled into his hotel room after she asked him to help her find her own room. She reported the rape to the authorities and was then sentence to 16 months in prison for having sex outside of marriage, drinking and making false statements; in Dubai, Islamic law states that either the accused must confess or four adult male witnesses must testify to the act in order to confirm the act. The punishment was a result of judgment according to Islamic law, which does put some fear into our minds.

It was at that moment that I picked up my Bible and read to Paul the last verse I had finished before he entered:

For the Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hand. He knows your walking through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing.

That was Deuteronomy 2:7 and likely the reason I was led to read Deuteronomy today. When debating places to live, which we discuss A LOT, we are sometimes faced with options that we do not necessarily want to take, but we constantly remind each other – sometimes instantly and usually simultaneously – that we live in Papua New Guinea. Unless we are moving to Syria, Crimea or some other war-torn country, there are not many places that are considered worse.

However, the last six months have made me realize how not awful living in PNG really is. We are blessed. We are protected. The Lord has given us everything we need: food, shelter, a place to sit, a place to sleep, internet and cable television to fill our down time, books, crossword puzzles and computer games to keep us entertained. We have each other every.single.day. We are not harmed; we are not poor; we are not without.

We are with: with each other, with balance that was so hard to find years ago, with God in our quiet times (and sometimes interrupted times). We are with knowledge and with protection. We are with blessings that are seen every day – even in something as simple as God reminding me that I had biscuits in the oven so that they did not burn. Those biscuits were perfect, thanks to God. Some people might wonder what God has to do with perfect biscuits, I know.

The Amplified version of Proverbs 3:6 says “In all your ways know, recognize and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.” In case you missed it, that word is ALL, meaning every, the whole quantify. Everything in my life I have because of God – even perfect biscuits.

As I refer back to my verse of the day, I cannot help but wonder: If we continue to know that God is with us and acknowledge that God is directing us, maybe we will see that this time in the third word – which doesn’t seem so third world anymore – is just our time in the great wilderness. Maybe our Canaan is just around the corner.

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