Though thick clouds still hung in the sky, the falling snow had subsided. Joy (our 10.5 year old GSP) and Hope (Sammy’s 1.5 year old GSP) eagerly anticipated their afternoon walk. Both dogs love romping through the snow. It was almost as if they knew adventure awaited them.
After gearing up in snow clothes, Gary, Joy, Hope and I began our arctic trek to the park across the street. Leaving our neighborhood, we discovered a bright yellow tennis ball. Gary snatched it up knowing how much Hope loved to play fetch.
Upon entering the path through the park, Gary threw the ball into the adjacent field laden with several inches of snow. Hope energetically chased the ball which disappeared into white fluff. Upon reaching the buried ball, Hope pounced with all of her enthusiasm, looking for the hidden treasure. She then quickly dug with her paws flinging snow into the air, bringing the ball to the surface. With her nose covered in snow, Hope then flung the ball into the air and awaited its descent with anticipation. Lunging forward, Hope then pounced upon the ball again and again.
Sometimes, this lively pup just submerged her face into the snow, as if reveling in the delightful surprise buried below the surface. Hope repeated this exciting activity multiple times pouncing repeatedly.
Gary and I watched with delight. Smiles spread across our faces as we watched Hope bound with energy searching for the ball, digging to uncover the hidden object. Hope exhibited such pleasure in her activity. As much as we enjoyed watching Hope’s exuberance, so too did Hope revel in her search.
While reflecting on our walk, I wondered what God thinks of His children. Does He smile when we pounce into His Word, digging, discovering the treasures He has hidden for us there? The Bible reveals on numerous occasions that God delights in those committed to Him (see Deut. 30:9, 2 Samuel 22:20, Psalm 16:3, Zephaniah 3:17 and many more). One of my favorite verses is; “The LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love” (see Psalm 147:11).
When we spend time with Jesus in the Bible, we grow, putting our hope in His unfailing love. We honor and respect God, giving Him primacy in our lives. God becomes known more deeply as we spend time with Him.
When was the last time you pounced into the Word of God? Do you approach the Bible with eager anticipation?
Imagine yourself “pouncing” into the Bible, discovering eternal riches.
Picture God delighting in you as you discover His treasures in the Word. I believe God loves watching His people engage with His inspired Scriptures.
As Gary, and I continued the snowy walk, I noticed that Joy took great pleasure in the outdoor excursion, yet, gave little attention to the bright yellow treasure buried beneath the snow. She missed it all together. Do you miss the blessings and hidden goodness in God’s Word? Have you become bored with the Bible?
Don’t let cultural narratives and the enemy of God sabotage your excited approach to the Scriptures. God gave the Bible to us so that we would know Him more deeply and be formed by Him through the Truths buried within.
He delights in us as we delight in His Word.
If you find yourself stuck when approaching the Bible, perhaps it’s time pounce in a fresh way. While there is a time for Bible study and scholarship with the Word, there is also a time to pounce upon, dig in, and linger with the Word. Just as Hope pounced repeatedly, we too, can “pounce” into and read Scripture passages multiple times, allowing the Truths to sink into our being.
There are many ways to pounce into Scripture. Maybe enjoy one of these three fresh approaches to your time with Jesus and discover valuable treasures beneath the surface in His Word.
Pounce into Scripture by reading a passage more than once. First read the section slowly, listening to God’s Word. Read it a second time, reflecting. Listen for a word or phrase that sticks out to you. Sit with that word or phrase for a moment. Read the same passage a third time receiving from God. Wonder and pray about how that word or phrase connects deeply with your soul. Read through the text one last time. Listen again, resting in God’s presence and then responding with gratitude. Thank God for His companionship and what He has shown you through His Word. Enjoy being in the presence of God. Read, Reflect, Receive and Respond.
Pounce by allowing your five senses to help you enter into the Scripture passage. As you read, notice what you hear and see. What can you touch, taste and smell? Pounce again. Listen to the voices, notice the people, and take in the setting. Let God’s Word come alive. As Martin Luther said,“If I read with all of my senses, if I creep into the text, I will emerge from the text transformed. I have encountered the figure of Jesus and this now shapes my figure” (Jesus: the Image of Humanity, pg. 14).
Lastly, pounce into God’s Word by imagining yourself in the scene. Who would you be? Why are you there? How do others in the scene respond to Jesus? Read the passage a few times imagining yourself as the different persons mentioned. What is Jesus speaking to you? What does God reveal to you about Himself, yourself and creation through the text? Allow God’s Word to come alive. M. Robert Mulholland explains this well; “… seek to allow the text to begin to become that intrusion of the Word of God into your life, to address you, to encounter you at deeper levels of your being” (Shaped by the Word, pg 56).
Treasures await when we pounce, dig in and linger with the Bible. Ask God to bring Scripture alive and meet deeply with your soul as you bury your face in His living Word. Delight yourself in the Lord by pouncing into His Word in a fresh way and imagine God delighting in your energetic approach to Him.
Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.
I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word. – Read all of Psalm 119, noticing the number of times “delight” occurs.
The LORD takes delight in his people…
Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Check out these suggested readings.
M. Robert Mulholland Jr. Shaped by the Word: The Power of Scripture in Spiritual Formation. Nashville, TN. 2001.
Chris Webb. The Fire of the Word: Meeting God on Holy Ground. Downer’s Grove, IL. 2011.
Puddles for Prayer: Thank you for praying for upcoming travel and speaking engagements.
February 9-24 – Sydney, Adelaide, and Perth, Australia
Traveling with Gary and speaking to various groups and organizations on Soul Care for Boards, Pastoral Staff and Senior Leaders.