Have you ever lost the excitement of digging into Scripture, finding new insights, being nourished by what God speaks to your heart? I’ll confess to a problem that’s been hard for me to talk about. In recent years, I’ve had a strong resistance to “Bible time.” My love for God, and my awareness of His tremendous tenderness hasn’t left. Prayer was still a joy. But because of several life events, reading the Bible was something I skimmed over quickly. I did the homework for Bible studies. Verses came to mind during the day. I mulled sections of scripture while doing devotion writing. But I struggled to settle in and let God surprise me through His Word.
For Christmas this year, my mom needed a gift idea, so I asked for the Inspire Bible. It has wide margins for journaling on every page, illustrations to color in, and it’s a translation I hadn’t read before. I hoped that all of that could stir a new love for –and interaction with–the Word.
I’ve always kept a set of color pencils with my Bibles. In high school I created a “Bible Underlining Code” that helped me as I read. I’d underline prayers in yellow, commands in dark blue, promises in purple, praise in light blue, etc. I also wrote dates, tiny prayers, or study notes in the margins – cramped barely legible words.
But this version with its artwork and ample margins has coaxed me into lingering much longer…filling the lines with my prayers, questions, and doodles.
I call it my “Doodle Bible” – and that’s not meant to disrespect the Word. In fact, I’ve realized that the new popularity of art in our Bibles traces back to illuminated manuscripts–carefully hand-penned and illustrated with great reverence and love.
What tools or strategies have aided your study of the Word?
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