There’s nothing like a Minnesota summer! The humidity, the greens everywhere you look—trees budding, grass growing, flowers blooming. Turning the heat off one day only to blast the air conditioner the next. Being outside every moment we can–walking, biking, gardening, sitting–just breathing it all in because we know that winter will be upon us in a heart beat.
The change of seasons–especially the greens of summer–make me catch my breath in awe of creation.
Romans 1:19-22: “They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.”
God has revealed Himself to every one of us through creation. But knowing He exists is not enough. What’s that bit in James 2:19? I always have to look it up:
“You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.”
I just wish people would read the Bible. I wish I would have read the Bible!
Instead, I thought I was good to go based on my infant baptism and all of the sacraments and traditions that followed. I taught my kids that God is God, that believing in Him was all that mattered. My beloved daughter-in-law would call that tolerance; I now know it was pure ignorance—maybe combined with laziness, because it’s a lot easier just to accept someone else’s truth rather than digging in to find one’s own based on what God Himself has to say.
I know that there are plenty of people raised in traditional churches who have a relationship with Christ. But I bet they are the ones who dig in for themselves, not relying on the faith of their parents or pastors as truth. I bet they are the ones who read the Bible.
That wasn’t my experience. I just followed the rules, knowing that when I didn’t, I could confess my sins on Saturday and start again fresh—sinless—for the week to come. Well-intentioned ignorance that is passed down from one generation to the next.
I just wish people would read the Bible for themselves.
Father, please don’t get me wrong: I’m grateful for my mom and grandparents and the nuns and priests who introduced me to You. They taught me what they knew, based on what their parents and church had taught them. I just wish I’d known that with that basic knowledge in hand, it was my responsibility to go further—to dig in to the Bible so as to hear from You directly, rather than running with ideas and rules that never came from You.
Thank You for opening eyes—my own and those of others who are too stubborn (or lazy!) to read the book that tells of who You are. Thank You for using everything that’s going on in our world today to open minds and hearts to the hope that comes only from You. Replace foolish ideas with Your truth; give people clarity of mind so that they move beyond belief in some undefined “higher power” into knowledge of, love for, and a relationship with Your Son, Jesus Christ.
Thank You for giving me—the biggest fool of all—enough wisdom in my old age to turn to You at last. Amen.
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P.S. If you are ready to take the leap, try this. The modern language and helpful notes of The Life Application Study Bible, New Living Translation (NLT) make God’s truth understandable at last!