I have never been a person to take to new habits very well, and being a young(ish) Christian, I have had a hard time really solidifying my Bible-reading habit.
As a new believer, I read the Bible cover to cover in a ridiculously short amount of time, just because I couldn’t get enough of it. Since then, I have gone through waves of reading with a great hunger for the Word interspersed with times of indifference and forgetting to open up my Bible at all.
I doubt I am alone in this.
I met the Lord in college, and so naturally I read my Bible at night. Because college students do everything at night. The morning was for coffee and not thinking.
As I got to know more Christians, I realized that most people I found read the scriptures in the morning. As I made my way from a college way of life to a more “real world” adult way of life, I tried my hand at reading my Bible in the morning. It worked, especially once my husband and I got married, since he was already in that habit. When someone around you is already practicing a habit, it’s easy to get sucked into it.
As we had babies, our lives changed a bit, and both of our Bible reading habits ebbed and flowed with our hours of sleep.
In the last year, with my husband’s change in work schedule and my adjusting our household to it, I have tried many different times to read my Bible. Mornings became difficult for me. With my husband at work until very late at night, if I am going to get a run in, it will only be in the morning. And what I need before the girls wake up is to get sweaty and feel somewhat accomplished.
I had tried naptime. I would break out my Bible as soon as the girls went to sleep after lunch, but that didn’t feel natural. Still with a lot of energy coursing through me, I could be cleaning up, putting away, and getting some projects done.
I also tried reading my Bible just before bedtime. This was probably the worst time of all for me. By the time I got into bed and opened the scriptures I could hardly keep my eyes open. Some people say that if you read something right before bed you are apt to remember it better. I say, not if you are sleeping halfway through the first paragraph!
Today I tried something different, though. I asked myself: When do I really NEED to read my Bible?
The argument could be made for every time of day. So many women, stay-at-home moms in particular, swear by reading their Bible first thing in the morning, to start their day with the Lord. But I knew that the morning was not the time in which I needed Him the most. I am a morning person, and often wake up excited to get some exercise and then see my girls.
For me it’s the evenings that are the hardest. Putting the girls down by myself (dinner, bath, bedtime marathon) can be exhausting. By the time I kiss them goodnight and shut their bedroom door, I am so emotionally drained that I often think about plopping in front of the television for a few hours with a bag of M&Ms.
Clearly, this is my most vulnerable time of day.
So today, before starting the dishes, and before turning on the television, I spent some time with my Savior. And do you know what? It worked for me. My 7:30 pm date with God was wonderful. Why? Because I needed His strength and His comfort through His word. And it has fueled the rest of my evening.
I encourage you, if you are stuck in a rut of either not reading your Bible, or are having a hard time sticking to consistently spending time with God, find the time in your day when you feel you need Him most, and seek Him out then.